Brilliant Earth Lowers Guidance As Bridal Market Slows

FinancialsNov 13, 2023

Brilliant Earth Lowers Guidance As Bridal Market Slows

In its recent third-quarter results, CEO Beth Gerstein also shared her holiday prediction for the upcoming season.

Brilliant Earth Sol Collection
A selection of jewelry from Brilliant Earth’s new “Sol” collection. The company lowered its fiscal outlook in light of industry headwinds, including a slowdown in bridal jewelry sales.
San Francisco—Brilliant Earth posted muted sales growth in the third quarter late last week, lowering its fiscal outlook as bridal jewelry sales suffer.

“We have all seen the headwinds in the bridal market as fewer people have been getting engaged versus historical averages, and we are not immune,” said CEO Beth Gerstein during an earnings call.

Brilliant Earth has been growing its non-bridal fine jewelry offerings, recently introducing the “Sol” collection and partnering with designer Logan Hollowell.

However, non-bridal fine jewelry has a lower average price point, and so its average order value (AOV) has suffered.

The total number of orders in the quarter ending Sept. 30 climbed 17 percent, while AOV fell 12 percent. For the first nine months of the year, total orders climbed 16 percent while AOV fell 13 percent.

“As we continue growing fine jewelry, overall company AOV is expected to decrease year-over-year in Q4, particularly given that Q4 is seasonally the largest fine jewelry quarter,” said Chief Financial Officer Jeff Kuo during the call.

Net sales in the third quarter rose 2.5 percent year-over-year to $114.2 million. For the first nine months of the year, net sales totaled $322 million, up just under 1 percent.

Net income in the third quarter was $2 million, down 65 percent year-over-year. For the first nine months of the year, net income totaled $2.8 million, down 78 percent year-over-year.

The company has been increasing its marketing spend, as well as its spend on employees as it continues to grow its footprint.

Brilliant Earth surpassed its goal of at least 35 showrooms in 2023, operating 37 by the end of September, including its first indoor mall-based showrooms.

“Indoor malls are a new format for us and the next evolution of our omnichannel footprint. Early indications are positive as we have been able to engage more walk-in customers, while still providing the personalized appointments we are known for,” said Gerstein.

Gross profit in the quarter was $66.8 million, or a 59 percent gross profit margin, compared to $60.9 million, or a 55 percent gross profit margin, in the prior-year period.

For the first nine months of the year, gross profit was $184 million, or a 57 percent gross profit margin, compared to $168.9 million, or a 53 percent gross profit margin, in the prior-year period.

The company has “continued to gain substantial market share and deliver profitable growth,” said Gerstein, in spite of a “challenging year,” and may even be doing better than its competitors.

“Based on industry reports, we estimate our revenue growth has outpaced the jewelry industry by more than 1000 basis points in the third quarter,” she said.

“While we estimate the bridal market and other portions of the industry are down double digits, and others have pulled back their investments, we continue to lean in and are proud of our growth and market share gain.”

During Signet Jewelers’ most recent earnings call, the jewelry giant predicted a bridal recovery to begin later in fiscal 2024 with a more robust rebound expected in fiscal 2025. 

Looking to the fiscal year ahead, Brilliant Earth has lowered its guidance to “reflect the current normalizing jewelry industry conditions.” 

The company is forecasting full-year net sales of $444 million to $450 million, down from its prior guidance of $460 million to $490 million. 

Adjusted EBITDA was downgraded to $22 million to $24 million compared to its prior guidance of $22 million to $35 million. 

Still, Gerstein ended her remarks on a positive note as the company heads into the holiday season. 

“The bulk of the season lies ahead and we believe that we are well-positioned to deliver another profitable fourth quarter with the largest quarterly sales in our history,” she said. 

“Looking ahead to next year, I believe we are well-positioned to continue gaining market share and that the investments that we are making today will pay dividends as the industry begins to normalize.” 

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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