Engagements symbolise a lifetime of dedication, trust, and the power of love, and it appears that many couples will be getting engaged soon, as proposals are predicted to pick up in 2024 following a pandemic-related decline, fostering excitement and anticipation of preparing for a future together.
Signet Jewellers, the US’s largest jewellery retailer, claims the pandemic negatively impacted engagement rings sales due to people staying indoors or avoiding socializing, leading to relationships failing or never blossoming.
This created an “engagement gap,” as relationships typically last 3.25 years before a couple gets engaged, according to Signet’s proprietary data.
The decline in proposals is anticipated to peak this year, and engagements are anticipated to resume in early 2024 as a result of the return of many pre-pandemic lifestyles, including dating, according to Signet, the owner of Zales, Jared, and more.
“COVID-19 created a temporary disruption in dating. We had predicted that we would see a lull in engagements caused several years ago by COVID-19,” said Signet CEO Virginia Drosos during a company presentation at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference.
The average US engagement rate dropped from 2.8 million to 2.5 million last year, with a potential rebound to 2.1 to 2.2 million in 2023, according to Drosos.
She added that Signet expects engagements to reach 2.4 to 2.5 million in 2024, a crucial rebound for the company, which accounts for 50% of its overall merchandise sales. The company’s customer data platform enables close tracking of the engagement cycle, CNN reported.
“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,” she said.
She continued: “We have 14 million people right now in the dating funnel that we can identify in our database. Around 2.1 million couples will get engaged this year and we have significantly more people that we see in the dating funnel that we are now tracking into 2024.”
Drosos provided more details about Signet’s ability to forecast engagement trends during the company’s most recent earnings call with analysts.
The company’s confidence in engagement recovery, according to Drosos, is based on 45 proprietary milestones they track to measure a couple’s journey towards engagement.
While not every couple experiences all of these milestones, reaching 25 to 30 of them significantly increases their likelihood of moving on to engagement.
Drosos also said that Signet’s data shows a 7% year-over-year improvement in “early relationship triggers,” such as attending sporting events or concerts together. In 2021, the pool of couples approaching 25-30 milestones increased by 700 basis points.
“Additionally, we are seeing states like Texas and Florida, which reopened earlier in the pandemic, 10 points closer to pre-pandemic engagement levels compared to California and New York, which reopened later in the pandemic,” she said.