Mature Consumers Leading Platinum Jewellery Demand in Japan
Hong Kong (22 August, 2019) – In luxury markets around the world, the focus largely remains on millennials and Gen Z, however, Japan’s social and market exceptionalism has been shown yet again in Platinum Guild International’s latest Insight report. Within the new report, research reveals that with evolving cultural distinctions and changing demographics, Japan’s more mature, female population also contributed to sustained growth in the jewellery sector.
Japan has remained a key market for platinum for decades. Not only does the country have the highest per capita consumption for platinum jewellery in the world, but platinum itself is considered the go-to white metal in higher-end jewellery with an annual average growth rate of 2.4% in retail ounce sales between 2013 and 2018.
“In the latest Insight report, we can see there is a shift in society, which is shaping consumer behaviour in a way that is impacting demand across consumer segments. This insight has led to crucial findings in how to adapt marketing for continued growth.” says Huw Daniel, Platinum Guild International CEO.
Starting from 2012, platinum has taken market share from white gold. Japanese consumers are willing to pay a price premium for platinum jewellery over 18K gold, which stems from the continued perception that “high quality jewellery is platinum”. In 2018, 42.4% of platinum jewellery unit sales of Pt950 (95% of platinum) or above were up from 27.0% in 2012, while white gold purity levels have declined, with share of low purity (10k or below) almost doubling from 11.2% in 2012 to 20.4% in 2018.
Growth of platinum jewellery sales in the past six years shows the continuous popularity of platinum jewellery among Japanese consumers. Much of that growth is owed to Japan’s female population who have historically been drawn to platinum’s high purity, prestige, subtlety and value. Since its establishment in 1975, PGI has worked closely with industry partners to contribute to the programs which have led to a platinum preference by Japanese women. Platinum is in synergy with Japanese concepts of design; pure and authentic, precious with clarity. These traits are clear signifiers of why the precious metal continues to find particular success in Japanese cities and among consumers who are looking for meaning in their jewellery.
PGI has long looked beyond bridal purchases with their decade-long “Thanks Days Platinum” anniversary gifting programme targeted to couples in their 40s and older. Yet, the increasingly ageing demographic combined with the higher purchasing power of female consumers provide new opportunities among Japan’s mature women.
Based on the latest Platinum Usage & Attitude survey by PGI, 49% of Japanese women in their 40s bought platinum jewellery for themselves, and that figure rose to 67% for women in their 50s and 60s. Despite the falling number of marriages and ageing population, platinum jewellery continues to be relevant to affluent, mature consumers with targeted collaborations. Last year PGI launched three proprietary collections with leading industry partners to target mature and affluent consumers who already prefer and are heavy shoppers of platinum: "Platinum Den", "New Me" and "Hello Me, Platinum".
PGI research further indicates that entering the dawn of the Reiwa era, consumers are increasingly optimistic, and will choose platinum for their wedding jewellery, love gifting and for self-purchase.
For more insights into platinum jewellery demand in Japan, please download the 2019 PGI Insight - Japan: Sustaining Growth of Platinum Jewellery Demand in an Ageing Society report here.