Economy

Data shows couples are getting engaged again after years of decline

The jewelry industry is hoping the end of 2023 marks a reversal of a recent trend of fewer people getting engaged to get married.

Data shows couples are getting engaged again after years of decline
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In the years following COVID-19, there have been fewer marriage proposals, resulting in major jewelers losing revenue.

Now it appears the trend is coming to an end, potentially resulting in a big boom for a number of industries.

According to projections released this month by Signet Jewelers, they expect to see the first increase in customers seeking engagement jewelry in years. The company says that 50% of its business is historically tied to weddings.

This time of year is critical for the industry. According to Wedding Wire, three of the four top days of the year for wedding proposals are between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1. Valentine's Day is considered the No. 1 day of the year for proposals.

Signet is the parent company of some of America's top jewelers, including Kay, Zales and Jared.

According to Signet, engagements are down 25% from before COVID. However, company data heading into the holidays suggested the start of a rebound.

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Gina Drosos, Signet Jewelers CEO, said there are a number of indicators beyond sales that lead them to believe a recovery is on the way. 

"Couples moving in together, a late-stage milestone, was up nine points from early 2022, and Google searches for engagement rings are now 10% higher than last year, the first time they've exceeded the prior year in nearly two years," Drosos said in a call with investors. "The percentage of couples moving to the engagement phase has improved by five points, a statistically significant movement over the last 18 months."

Drosos also noted that general attitudes about marriage are improving among younger generations. 

"In our most recent survey, nearly 80% of non-married Millennial and Gen Z adults say they want to eventually get engaged and married, which is a notable improvement to younger adults from a 2018 survey," Drosos said. "That's encouraging, as are the multi-cultural changes we're seeing in engagements. Moving forward, the majority of engagements in the US will be multicultural, led by growth in Hispanic Americans."