Online-focused jeweler Brilliant Earth saw sales drop and went into the red in the first quarter as the US consumer market endured a challenging period.
Revenue declined 2.3% year on year to $97.7 million, the retailer said last week. The company registered a net loss of $440,000, compared with a profit of $3.4 million a year earlier.
Based in San Francisco, Brilliant Earth presents itself as a specialist in ethically sourced gemstones and jewelry, offering both natural and lab-grown diamonds. It sells via e-commerce and operates around 30 showrooms, where customers can view merchandise.
In the three months ending March 31, the total number of orders grew 10%, but the average value fell 11%, management explained. There was an increase in sales of fine jewelry at lower price points alongside “moderation” in sales growth for products costing more than $10,000.
The performance also reflected an unfavorable comparison with last year’s exceptionally busy wedding calendar, as couples had delayed getting married due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This factor will likely ease later in the year, CEO Beth Gerstein said in an earnings call.
Sales still exceeded the company’s prediction of $94 million to $96 million for the quarter, Gerstein pointed out.
“We are excited about the opportunities ahead and expect the continued success of our strategic initiatives from product innovation and curation to showroom expansion to be drivers of our growth,” she added. “When coupled with the unique qualities of our agile, asset-light business model, we are well positioned to meet our annual goals.”
Image: Brilliant Earth’s showroom in Nashville, Tennessee, which opened last month. (Brilliant Earth)