Mumbai: As jewellery industry trends continue to evolve, branded jewellery is expected to be a major growth engine in the coming years. Effective branding builds strong consumer relevance and connectivity, which younger consumers appreciate, according to the latest insights from the 2023 Platinum Jewellery Business Review, organised in London by Platinum Guild International (PGI), the global marketing organisation dedicated to creating and strengthening the market for platinum jewellery.
“The value of branding is well understood and developed in other luxury categories such as fashion, but lags behind in jewellery. PGI leverages consumer research and insight to develop a brand application framework to unlock these opportunities. We have been working with our partners to ensure branded platinum collections with strong storytelling, designs, and new technologies meet the aspirations of our consumers,” said Huw Daniel, CEO of PGI.
India: Celebrating strong values and tapping into the cohort of young, affluent, urban men in the fastest-growing platinum market:
India has a mature jewellery market and a deeply entrenched jewellery culture, with a large base of young and financially independent consumers. As chain retailers and the organised trade are set to lead the jewellery industry’s growth, platinum creates significant value by addressing the needs of the young consumer and driving bottom line growth for the partners.
Designed to drive conversion and margins, platinum was the top-performing jewellery category in 2022, delivering 20% year-on-year growth in fabrication to a total of 198K ounces. At the retail level, PGI partners reported an increase of 26% in 2022 compared to the previous year. PGI expects the strong growth in platinum jewellery to continue in 2023, helped by platinum’s unique margin opportunity and strengthening consumer demand.
India’s 12.2 million young, affluent, urban men are a ready market for branded jewellery which currently represents a white space. Men of Platinum in India was created by PGI to meet the aspirations of these men, recognising their evolving values and aspirations, which no jewellery currently captures.
In 2022, Men of Platinum leveraged India’s love for cricket through its brand ambassador KL Rahul, a cricketer who embodies the values of the brand. Together with partners’ co-promotions, retail sales have increased fivefold since its inception, and distribution has doubled to almost a thousand doors.
Japan: Delicate, affordable pieces reflecting the values of young Japanese women create an intro-priced platinum category and seed future demand
Platinum is the go-to jewellery metal for good quality jewellery in Japan, representing a quarter of all jewellery unit sales in 2022. With many pieces of high-end jewellery only offered in platinum, its average unit price is considerably higher than the market average. Platinum’s elevated status is a strong foundation for branded jewellery.
Reflecting the sharp uptake in consumer interest in jewellery led by COVID-19, the Japanese jewellery market in 2022 recorded the highest sales in 14 years. Platinum jewellery retail ounce sales grew by 6.2% year-on-year and are expected to remain positive, thanks to a recovery in consumer sentiment and the return of tourists shopping for jewellery.
While Japan is an ageing society, it also has a substantial cohort of young consumers, primed to embrace platinum. Women between the ages of 20 and 34 are increasing their income and willingness to spend on themselves. They want jewellery that speaks to and about who they are, but are often overlooked by the jewellery industry, outside of bridal.
Platinum Woman is the platinum brand that addresses the needs of the next generation of heavy platinum jewellery buyers through its affordable and youthful collection from four top-of-class retail partners. Thriving since its launch in November 2020, partner sales continued to grow in 2022, with a 69% increase in value over 2021.
China: Fashion-forward platinum brand speaks to young Chinese women, delivering results amidst uncertainties
China ranks first among all jewellery markets in the world, but growth has shifted from Tier 1 and 2 cities to lower-tier cities. During this transition, China is moving towards large jewellery retail chains that are quick to use more branded jewellery.
2022 was an extremely challenging year for the Chinese economy and consumers, with approximately two fiscal quarters of stifled business activity. Consumer confidence continued to weaken on the back of multiple sporadic COVID outbreaks. Traffic to both manufacturing showrooms and retail stores was significantly affected.
Platinum jewellery fabrication slumped by 32% year-on-year to less than half a million ounces in 2022. With store traffic being severely affected, retailers were reluctant to replenish products and instead sought to keep stock levels to a minimum.
Uncertainty remains in 2023 despite some recent recovery, but in the long term, the introduction of premium platinum products will create appeal to both consumers and the jewellery trade. Branded collections such as Pt Moment have been contributing to the post-COVID recovery in China and will continue in the future. Aiming at young women who want to embrace tenacity and elegance with their own take on contemporary femininity, this branded collection offers affordable non-bridal precious jewellery options that fit their needs.
Powered by design innovations and new technologies, the branded collection featured more than 150 SKUs in 2022, and increased distribution from around 50 doors in 2018 to 1,800 in 2022. The sales volume of Pt Moment® grew at a CAGR of 11% during 2020-2022, despite the COVID outbreaks and pandemic-control measures.
United States: Offering platinum metal-only, fashion-focused branded collection for American women
After reaching a record level of sales in 2021, the US platinum jewellery industry saw another year of noteworthy performance. Retail sales increased a further 9% year-on-year, despite facing multiple challenges in 2022, including inflation, global supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, and resulting sanctions. The outlook remains positive for 2023 as consumer spending remains robust and high gold prices make platinum a favourite for the price-sensitive trade.
Previously, only a limited range of platinum jewellery was available outside the bridal market in the US. Platinum Born, the metal-only platinum brand, brings a fashion-forward jewellery collection that helps empower a sense of modern femininity, especially among younger women seeking unique designs to express their individuality.
Platinum Born has expanded platinum into distribution channels that have had limited platinum offerings historically, including high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. The brand added 23 new SKUs in 2022, both at higher and lower price points. In 2022, unit sales doubled, and dollar sales increased 60% over 2021.
“While our approach differs from country to country in order to meet the needs of local consumers, it’s clear that branded collections are a major growth engine for the future of the platinum jewellery industry,” Mr. Daniel said.