Retailer Brilliant Earth grew sales more than 25% in 2020 thanks in part to virtual tools it launched in 2019, helping it win cash-flush shoppers.

(Bloomberg)—Digital-first jewelry company Brilliant Earth Group Inc. filed for an initial public offering, on the heels of strong growth during the pandemic.

The San Francisco-based company in its filing Monday listed the size of the offering as $100 million, a placeholder that will change when terms of the share sale are set. Brilliant Earth, which offers jewelry consumers can design themselves with a focus on ethical gemstones, is No. 294 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

The filing will add to what is already a record year for U.S. listings, a streak that is continuing as companies rush to go public in the final months of 2021. Including special purpose acquisition companies (those acquisitions that see a public shell corporation take over a private, high growth company without the rigamarole of a traditional IPO), public offerings on U.S. exchanges have raised a combined total of more than $241 billion since Jan. 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Pandemic uptick in online sales

Like many other online and luxury retailers, Brilliant Earth’s sales increased recently after the coronavirus pandemic as store and restaurant shutdowns left some shoppers with extra time as well as discretionary income.

The jewelry retailer also relied on some of its previous investments in digital tools, such as virtual appointments and virtual try-on tools that it launched in 2019, to help it convert shoppers and maintain sales momentum during the pandemic.

advertisement

“Customers who use our set of digital tools–virtual try-on, virtual appointments, find my matching wedding band–convert at a rate of about three to five times higher than those who don’t,” Kathryn Money, senior vice president of merchandising and retail expansion, told Digital Commerce 360 last year.

In 2020, Brilliant Earth’s sales rose 25.1% to $251.8 million from $201.3 million the prior year. Sales rose 77.7% to $163.0 million in the first half of 2021 from $91.8 million a year ago, according to its filing. Its net income jumped nearly 60 times to almost $10.9 million from $182,000 during the same period.

While the company has 13 showrooms, most sales are conducted online with showrooms offering design services. However, half of shoppers who visit the appointment-only showrooms end up making a purchase with Brilliant Earth.

The company’s founders will have more than half of the shareholder voting power after the listing and will continue to control the company, according to the filing.

Brilliant Earth’s offering is being led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG, Jefferies Financial Group Inc. and Cowen Inc. The company plans for its shares to trade on Nasdaq under the symbol BRLT.

advertisement

Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.

Favorite