Welcome to another new year. We wish all our stakeholders a very healthy and prosperous 2016.

For the first time last year, online sales equalled shop sales in the Western hemisphere. Consumers were switching to purchasing, clicking and collecting, comparing prices online and making an educated purchase after much research on their prized digital possession.

Children of the new millennium are now sending “links” to their parents as to their choice of gifts for festive seasons and for their birthdays and special occasions.

The news after Black Friday was covered with steep rises in sales for Amazon and Ebay. Even traditional retail stores like John Lewis and Marks and Spencer in the UK reported a massive increase in online sales and less traffic instore. This shows the permanent shift towards spending and almost all serious retailers in the world will now have to acknowledge the power of the worldwide web, which was in doubt a few years back. The diamond and jewellery industry, which is historically very conservative, has to now come to grips with this transparent and highly competitive mode of digital selling to potential consumers.

Furthermore, buying online has a serious advantage over buying in store, at least in the UK. The amended Consumer Act now gives more protection to online purchases than purchases made instore. You now have 14 days from receipt of your item to return it for a full refund if purchased online.

The only problem with buying diamonds and jewellery online is the nature of the product. If you are buying a branded product like an I-phone or a Samsung tablet, making an online purchase is easy.

These are mass produced and come from a reputed manufacturer, hence you feel secure in making the purchase. With diamond purchases, this is not the case. Firstly, no two diamonds are the same and no two pieces of jewellery is the same. In addition, with numerous e-tailers of diamonds selling “similar looking” products very cheap or very expensive, there is no way of telling which one is good value for money even if they come with an “Independent certification or valuation” as many of are made to suit the seller.

At Marlow’s, we always recommend you come in store for the one purchase in your life which is emotional and which shows your true love towards each other, one that can be cherished for generations.

We take pride that we cannot be beaten on price for like for like products anywhere in the UK, online or otherwise. You can always buy online from us if you wish to take time to make up your mind as we offer the 14 day money back guarantee on all our products selling online (except bespoke). In addition to the Marlow’s quality assurance, you have time to reflect on your purchase. Either way, we welcome you to the world of Marlow’s in 2016, the Chinese new year of the Red Monkey beginning early February.