As the bridal business evolves, innovative retailers can still find success.

The bridal business isn’t what it used to be — and that may be the understatement of the year.

Online competition has made it difficult to make a profit selling diamonds. Millennial shoppers continue to confound retailers. Custom design is booming like never before. Colored gemstones are growing in popularity as additions or even alternatives to diamonds. Perhaps least of all — but not insignificant — the popularity of the princess cut continues to drop dramatically in favor of oval and cushion shapes.

Yep, the engagement and wedding ring business has a few things going on.

As always, we’re here to help. Each and every one of those topics is addressed in this issue. Check out “The Real Deal” to see how your fellow retailers handle difficult situations with online diamond competition (and we’re not done with this topic … keep your eyes peeled for more in 2018). Our lead story, a special edition of “Customer Types,” explains the motivations of a variety of today’s wedding buyers, including millennials, Gen X and LGBTQ clients. Columnist Shane Decker describes how to sell to today’s bridal customer, David Geller tells you the latest on custom design, and David Brown explores how to stay profitable in your bridal sales.

But that’s not all. In New Arrivals, contributor Becky Stone curates a selection in three of today’s top bridal trends, and in Opening Lines, she introduces five innovative new bridal jewels.

And that’s just scratching the surface — read on for more trends and tips. The bridal business may be changing, but for savvy retailers willing to change with it, it can still be very profitable.

Trace Shelton
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, INSTORE

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This article originally appeared in the September 2017 edition of INSTORE.