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De Beers Sets Its Sights on Becoming the Leading Jewelry Group

De Beers Unveils Five-Year Strategy to Dominate Jewelry Market

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe

The world’s largest diamond producer by value, De Beers, has made a bold attempt to reimagine its position in the luxury market by announcing a comprehensive five-year plan that aims to position the company as the world’s leading jewelry business. This operational change is being made as Anglo American, the parent company of De Beers, looks to acquire the massive diamond company.

De Beers has experience in the retail industry; as it has sold diamond jewelry through its foreign shops. To compete directly with renowned premium brands like Tiffany and Cartier, the company’s CEO, Al Cook, intends to greatly increase their retail presence. Cook is excited about the future and plans to expand into the luxury jewelry manufacture and sales industry, going beyond typical mining operations. “If I look at the future of diamonds, it is way beyond mining,” Cook remarked in an interview with the Financial Times. “I’m really excited by the idea that we can really deploy our full strategy all the way to creating the world’s greatest jewelry maison [house], which would not be a natural part of a mining company.”

The “Origins” campaign, which is the cornerstone of De Beers’ new approach, aims to draw in more contemporary customers and increase demand for diamonds that are mined. The corporation intends to revitalize its marketing in order to increase the appeal of diamonds and to make use of cutting-edge techniques in order to optimize effect and reach.

Removing De Beers from artificial substitutes is a step in this transformational process. The business made the decision to end its six-year experiment with lab-grown diamonds under the Lightbox brand, which it launched in 2018. Although De Beers will not stop selling Lightbox stones right once, there are plans to gradually phase out this line over the course of the following year when the current inventory is exhausted.

Having conversations with retailers is essential to De Beers’ approach. Launched in September 2023, the “Seize the Day” pilot program successfully demonstrated this concept, receiving support from more than 22,000 retail locations. De Beers is concentrating on developing strategic alliances with significant retailers going forward, such as its current agreements with Signet Jewelers in the US and Chow Tai Fook in China.

The retail network of De Beers is already fairly large. The company’s Forevermark diamond brand can be found in more than 2,400 retail jewelry stores globally. De Beers has also established specialized stores in sixteen areas, including the Houston Galleria and Madison Avenue in New York City. These stores are backed by an online platform, the De Beers Jewellers website.

Over the past two years, the diamond business has seen numerous difficulties, such as a shift in consumer preferences toward more reasonably priced lab-grown diamonds and overall economic instability. These elements played a part in the decline in consumer demand for diamonds, especially in important economies like the US and China, which together account for about half of the world market for diamond jewelry.

De Beers significantly lowered the prices of their diamonds in January in reaction to these difficulties; the average decrease was roughly 10%, with some larger stones seeing reductions of up to 25%. Additionally, the corporation raised its cost projections while lowering its output forecasts. In spite of these modifications, De Beers hopes to reach its historical profit range of $500 million by 2028 with yearly core profits of $1.5 billion.

De Beers is ready to function autonomously as it sets out on this bold journey to reimagine itself as a major participant in the jewelry market. This is similar to how it operated for 124 of its 136 years of existence, prior to Anglo American purchasing an 85% share in 2011. The remaining shares are owned by the Botswana government, which guarantees that the business will maintain strong local ties even as it expands into new markets.

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