Hong Kong: In the latest Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR) Q2 2022, Platinum Guild International (PGI) reports a continued recovery in platinum jewellery sales in India, Japan and the United States in the second quarter of 2022, despite the lingering effects of the pandemic and rising inflation. In part, the upswing has been fuelled by a series of marketing programmes underscoring platinum’s lustre and emotional appeal, supporting the industry’s demand to drive sales and margin growth post-pandemic.
“As consumers rejoice in the return of festivities and shopping after successive lockdowns, the industry’s marketing and promotional campaigns have renewed the appetite for platinum jewellery that is appreciated for its quality, worth and emotional value,” said Mr. Huw Daniel, CEO of PGI: “At the same time, our manufacturing and retail partners are delivering diverse branded collections to drive margin growth and appeal to more customers.”
A Market-by-Market Platinum Jewellery Industry Review
Encompassing the festivals of Gudi Padwa and Akshaya Tritiya, and the onset of the summer wedding season, India’s gem and jewellery industry enjoyed strong momentum in the second quarter of 2022 after businesses were disrupted for two years in a row. PGI’s strategic partners reported gains of 2-3 times compared to a year ago, and 110% growth from the same quarter in 2019. As store traffic increased, retailers focused on driving higher margins through sales of platinum jewellery.
After a two-year hiatus, the Platinum Season of Love (SOL) returned with a month-long digital media campaign. Over 1,400 doors from over 300 retailers participated in SOL 2022, delivering a sales jump of more than 100% over the 2019 programme. This was also owing to platinum’s strong emotional equities that entail distinctive brand narratives that differentiate from gold and drive high margins and stock turns.
Retail sales growth in the US remains positive, instilling confidence in a market adjusting to surging inflation and global supply chain issues sparked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The jewellery sector has risen to the challenge, outperforming the overall retail performance. Platinum jewellery sales continued the hot streak, with partners posting double-digit sales increases and outstanding retail sell-through results following a successful start of 2022.
Platinum Born, the platinum-only women’s jewellery brand, unveiled a new creative campaign at the Couture show in June, adding new doors and achieving high year-over-year growth in wholesale sales to retail partners.
Japanese consumers returned to shops with confidence during Q2 to buy jewellery, as the end of COVID-19 restrictions coincided with the Golden Week national holiday. As a result, jewellery sales recovered for the fifth quarter, with a push towards platinum – the best-performing white precious metal in Japan – that saw year-over-year unit sales increase by 9.8%. An increase in sales of high-purity and asset products, as well as fashion jewellery, contributed to the growth.
Consumers showed a strong buying interest in high-purity products, and young consumers and online sales were also driving low-price point product sales. Platinum Woman released the summer collection, and attracted robust sales from younger consumers who are lured by accessibly priced platinum jewellery endorsed by a celebrity brand ambassador.
China’s major cities have endured lockdown since late March, and COVID-19 travel restrictions have been tightened. Even though the jewellery market witnessed a gradual recovery from May, sales were still under pressure in the second quarter. PGI’s retail partners performed better in the challenging environment than their peers, despite a year-over-year decline in sales.
Leading manufacturers are steadfast in upgrading their inventory by launching new platinum products or applying technologies such as CNC and electroforming for new orders to meet the changing consumer needs. Retailers also continued promotional activities during the May holidays to strengthen sales of platinum jewellery. More than 35,000 pieces were sold during the “Booster 2022” shopping programme in Guangzhou and Jiangsu, and the “Platinum Journey of Love” initiative – launched for the “520” (20th May) festival with a local retailer in Wuhan– delivered a 50% YoY increase in sales.
“Bolstered by the jewellery buying season and marketing efforts to unlock demand, retailers and manufacturers continue to invest more resources to work with platinum. The unique qualities and emotional appeal of platinum, and its potential to drive margin growth and capture incremental demand through innovation, design diversity, quality branded collections and increased consumer engagement point to new opportunities for jewellers,” said Zhenzhen Liu, Director of Global Corporate Marketing, PGI.