Hong Kong: Despite global geopolitical and economic challenges and the dampening effect of COVID-19, strategic efforts by Platinum Guild International (PGI) to boost sales and heighten the desirability of precious platinum have forged upswings in key markets, as evidenced by the Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR) Q3 2022.
“PGI’s mission to boost the desirability of platinum and drive sales for our partners is succeeding, despite the economic challenges of 2022, and the two pandemic-affected years preceding it,” said Huw Daniel, CEO of PGI. “We are delighted to see the strategic programmes leveraging platinum’s unique qualities have delivered strong results, presenting platinum as a key value generator for our partners during the post-pandemic recovery and the key festive and shopping season.”
Key Findings of the Platinum Jewellery Industry by Market
A 35% YoY increase in platinum jewellery sales in India was powered by festive shopping and targeted campaigns and promotions. Specifically, the increased store footfall and the return of the Platinum Buyer Seller Meet 2022 after a two-year absence helped drive sales during the wedding and festival season, which in turn re-energised platinum jewellery fabrication as retailers increased their stocks to meet higher demand.
PGI’s strategy of raising the awareness of platinum brands through training and targeted marketing campaigns, such as the one with the Indian ace cricketer K.L. Rahul for the brand Men for Platinum, has continued to reap dividends for retailers. Those marketing efforts have strengthened the link between platinum’s intrinsic qualities and consumers’ desire for morale-boosting brilliance and reassuring durability in uncertain times.
Retail sales remained resilient in Q3 2022, with year-on-year growth tempered by the highs of Q3 2021. Platinum jewellery sales experienced a modest decline in consumption against a high base, but they are still above 2019 levels and on track for a strong finish to 2022. PGI USA business development grant partners saw double-digit increases in platinum sales on the back of their focus on platinum product development, building inventory and training for sales associates. Such solid performance has generated new interest from more jewellers that do not have a significant presence of platinum in their merchandise mix.
In addition to promotional activities, PGI continued striving to improve training through education incentives, such as platinum workshops at the Rhode Island School of Design and courses at Miami Jewelry School.
On the back of a six-consecutive-quarter year-on-year rise in unit sales, platinum shone with a Q3 sales increase of 4.7% YoY. Along with high-purity jewellery, it enjoyed robust growth as the middle classes returned to shopping malls and department stores in the absence of government COVID-19 controls.
Platinum jewellery counters in department stores, in particular, enjoyed a sales surge; product-wise, growth was spearheaded by high-quality Kihei chains and necklaces/pendants and men’s jewellery. In addition, the continuing popularity of the Platinum Women brand saw retail partners achieve a solid sales increase and roll out new products in November. Given the positive momentum in Q3, the sentiment for the Christmas shopping season remains very positive.
The surge of COVID-19 cases in China in September stymied the summer recovery of the jewellery sector, leading to a decline of 16% YoY in retail partner sales in Q3. Facing headwinds, innovation in platinum jewellery design and technology continued to improve the product offering to the consumers, such as the leading manufacturers launching autumn-winter products and introducing new products with CNC technology.
In addition, a series of PGI initiatives with partners also helped to drive local demand. For example, a celebrity campaign from one strategic partner garnered a 60% YoY boost in sales, and a promotion from a franchise retailer in northeast China recorded a 40% YoY sales increase for its Pt Moment® brand. The second part of 2022 Booster, an integrated activation campaign that combines art and local culture to help retail sales recover, buoyed business in 1,583 doors from 62 major retailers in Shandong, Henan and Hebei, leading to over 11,000 pieces of platinum jewellery sold during the event period in September.
Along with an increased appreciation of platinum jewellery’s unique qualities among targeted demographics through promotional activities, PGI’s strategic programmes on marketing, communications and training provide further support to jewellers who are ready to mine the potential of platinum in major markets in the festival season.