Are you prepared to celebrate love in style? Well, 2024 promises to be a year filled with romance, and the sound of Champagne corks popping will be music to our ears. We’re on the cusp of a remarkable surge in marriage proposals, and it’s all thanks to a post-pandemic rebound, setting the stage for memorable weddings.
According to Signet Jewelers, the largest jewelry company in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the sales of engagement rings. Lockdowns and restrictions kept people indoors, and the challenges of limited social interactions put many relationships and potential engagements on hold. This period is what Signet Jewelers refers to as the “bridal gap.”
Now, here’s the exciting part for brides-to-be: on average, couples typically get engaged about 3.25 years after they start dating, according to Signet’s proprietary data. But with the return of pre-pandemic lifestyles, including the rekindling of dating, Signet predicts that the dip in proposals will hit its lowest point this year, and we can look forward to a resurgence in engagements starting in early 2024.
Virginia Drosos, Signet’s CEO, emphasized this point at a company presentation during the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference. She stated, “Covid created a temporary disruption in dating. We had predicted a lull in engagements several years ago due to Covid.”
In the United States, an average of 2.8 million couples get engaged each year. However, in 2020, that number dropped to 2.5 million. Drosos noted that the decline is expected to continue, bottoming out at 2.1 to 2.2 million in 2023, before a steady upward trajectory over the next three years. By 2024, Signet anticipates engagements to reach 2.4 to 2.5 million.
This rebound is particularly significant for bridal retailers because bridal jewelry accounts for a substantial 50% of their overall merchandise sales. Signet closely tracks this annual engagement cycle thanks to their customer data platform. Drosos explained, “It’s our proprietary signals that tell how couples are progressing through the 3.25 years from when they meet to when they get engaged. We have 14 million people in the dating funnel that we can identify in our database. About 2.1 million couples will get engaged this year, and we are now tracking significantly more people in the dating funnel into 2024.”
Drosos provided more insights into Signet’s ability to forecast bridal trends during their recent earnings call with analysts. She stated, “Why are we confident that engagements will recover? Our confidence is based on 45 proprietary milestones we track to measure a couple’s journey toward engagement. Not every couple experiences all 45 milestones we track, but we know that once they reach 25 to 30 of these milestones, they become statistically, significantly more likely to move on to engagement.”
One interesting data point is that “early relationship triggers” have improved by 7% year over year, with activities like attending sporting events or concerts together being particularly noteworthy.
As of the second quarter ending on July 29, Signet observed an increase of 700 basis points in the number of couples approaching 25 to 30 milestones. Moreover, states like Texas and Florida, which reopened earlier during the pandemic, are now 10 points closer to pre-pandemic engagement levels when compared to states like California and New York, which reopened later in the pandemic.
So, brides-to-be, mark your calendars for 2024 because it promises to be a year filled with love and memorable proposals. As engagements make a comeback, it’s the perfect time to start planning your dream wedding. At Janene’s Bridal, we’re here to help you find the perfect dress for your special day. Let’s make 2024 a year to remember in the world of bridal beauty and love!