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Platinum Jewelry Sales Continue Rebound

Jewelry retailers and manufacturers renew enthusiasm for new collections of platinum jewelry amid collaborative marketing initiatives, according to PGI Report.

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Platinum Jewelry Sales Continue Rebound
Credit: Brilliant Earth Sapphire Twist Pendant (USA)

(PRESS RELEASE) HONG KONG — Despite ongoing challenges escalated by the pandemic, platinum jewelry retailers and manufacturers report a sustained recovery across three of four key markets in the latest Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR) Q1 2021 report by Platinum Guild International (PGI). The strong momentum is also evidenced by a recent consumer survey which highlights continued positive consumer sentiment and strong appetite for precious jewelry that mark special moments in difficult times. For the full PJBR Q1 report, visit: Platinum Jewellery Business Review Q1 2021.

“The jewelry industry has seen precious jewelry demand return in the first quarter of 2021, but the recovery could slow in some markets as subsequent waves of COVID cloud the outlook. Other than accelerated trends within the industry, what we’ve seen in the last year is a renewed enthusiasm for platinum. Jewellers are increasingly engaging with this precious metal, which has been effectively marketed as a metal of meaning and become important as consumers look for ways to symbolise and mark occasions in restricted and unprecedented times,” says Huw Daniel, chief executive officer of PGI.

A market-by-market platinum jewelry industry review

  • USA
    Due to the decline in COVID cases, vaccination rollouts and government subsidies, the US market has continued its strong rebound since Q3 2020. Success has been further attributed to retail partners’ engagement with platinum and PGI’s efforts at enhancing platinum’s position with diamond jewelry, a dominant category in the US market.Platinum jewelry sales of PGI USA’s strategic partners experienced robust year-on-year growth of 11%. This increase is mainly attributed to growth in gemstone fashion jewelry and strong demand for bridal jewelry due to postponed weddings and engagements.

    PGI USA also recently announced a new initiative “Platinum Business Development Grant” to support partners that are committed to make platinum a strategic focus of their business to target future growth.

  • China
    Chinese consumers’ confidence has picked up as the pandemic has been brought under control. This upward sentiment has created a good foundation for the consumption recovery of precious jewelry. PGI has seen the jewelry category increase sharply in Q1 2021, against a low base in the same period affected by COVID-19 last year, with platinum fabrication increasing by 65% year-on-year.PGI retail partners reported a 52% growth compared to the same period of 2020, driven by newly launched or refreshed platinum collections, coupled with promotional activities. For instance, PGI collaborated on the addition of futuristically styled sub-collections for Chow Tai Fook’s refreshed “G&W” collection, resulting in 103 SKUs of products through 3,500+ stores targeting tier two and three cities. During Chinese New Year, PGI rallied 33 small-to-medium retailers with a combined retail footprint of 325 doors to host promotional activities for platinum. With PGI supplying customised promotional mechanisms and sales incentives, retailers were encouraged to stock up on their platinum inventory. Good crowd turnout at malls and tremendous efforts from retailers resulted in significant increases, both in sales volume and value amongst the participating stores.
  • Japan
    Japan, historically the strongest market for platinum jewelry, experienced a 5.5% year-on-year decline in platinum jewelry retail sales in Q1. Still, platinum is regarded as the best performing white metal used for precious jewelry, which can be attributed to sales of bridal and asset-based jewelry, especially via non-store sales channels. Platinum jewelry sales from non-store channels rose by 15% year-on-year in Q1, with both E-commerce and TV shopping expanding the target audience during the home-bound year of COVID-19.
  • India
    The Indian market began the year on a positive note following a five-month decline in the number of new cases. Leveraging on festivals and the wedding season, PGI partners saw success with a “Platinum Days of Love” campaign alongside an in-store activation programme, “Month of Love”, which drove conversions to platinum from gold and diamonds. In fact, PGI strategic retail partners with 642 stores reported 17% year-on-year growth in platinum sales in Q1. However, as the pandemic regained momentum towards the end of March, the outlook for Q2 looks uncertain.

The sustained recovery indicated in the PJBR Q1 report reflects an overall positive momentum across key markets, buoyed by pickup of consumer interest and trade confidence, but future growth could be hampered by surging coronavirus cases in some markets and the returned competition of spending on other categories.

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