Diamond Industry

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The value of diamonds lies on their physical properties that make them suitable for many applications. Natural diamonds are only of high value if they are scarce in nature. Realizing this, De Beers Consolidated Mines was formed to control the supply of diamonds from mines across the world. The diamond market is influenced by mine production, rough diamond distribution, preparation/cutting, and retail markets. The project will be concentrating on the retail markets for diamonds and other high end jewelry. Jewelry purchases are highly discretionary because they are heavily affected by adverse trends in the general economy and are measured by disposable consumer income. The first half of fiscal 2003 can be described with a lackluster economy, lower consumer confidence and an unstable geopolitical environment. However, general economic conditions and consumer confidence improved in the second half of fiscal 2003, resulting with increased sales. Since the economy has taken some major strides towards recovery, the jewelry industry represents a bullish market. Large and small retailers are evaluating expansion opportunities outside of the traditional regional mall venue. With this in mind, it is the intention of this paper to assess the comprehensive strategies of the cyclical retail jewelry industry. In this highly competitive industry which is extremely sensitive to the level of discretionary consumer income and the subsequent impact of the type of good purchased, competitors include foreign and domestic guild and premier luxury jewelers, specialty stores, national and regional jewelry chains, and department stores. To a lesser extent there exist catalog showrooms, discounters, direct mail suppliers, televised home shopping networks, and jewelry retailers who make sales through internet sites. It is a highly fragmented US market estimated at approximately 54 billion dollars. The breakup of the industry is accordingly: mass merchants representing 10%, chain...
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