Platinum Jewellery Market in China and the US Delivers Strong Rebound During the Third Quarter
Left to right: Platinum Moment 2020 collection (China), Platinum Evara 2020 collection (India) and Le Vian Chocolate diamond ring in platinum (USA)
(2 December 2020) Hong Kong – Following the gradual return of demand across key platinum jewellery markets in the second quarter, the Platinum Jewellery Business Review Q3 2020 prepared by Platinum Guild International (PGI) shows the market continues to recover, primarily driven by strong momentum in mainland China and demand pick-up in the US.
“Our strategic partners across markets are continuing to report improvement in sales. With encouraging results coming from mainland China and the US, we remain optimistic for the upcoming festive and holiday season. In the meantime, we continue to advise our partners to focus on creating a stronger emotional connection with platinum jewellery offerings across multiple segments while adapting to the new normal through increased omnichannel efforts,” says Huw Daniel, CEO of PGI.
Stronger momentum in mainland China in the Q3 compared with the previous quarter has boosted the recovery of retail and jewellery sales largely driven by the effective control of the pandemic and the return of store traffic. Platinum jewellery fabrication jumped 13% year-on-year, due to replenishment of orders from leading retailers who launched new collections, with new interest in platinum expressed by distributors and smaller retailers. Retail sales of platinum jewellery from PGI’s partners also recorded 5% year-on-year growth in the third quarter, on the back of the return of consumer spending in the domestic market during key shopping occasions and amid a rebound in bridal demand.
PGI also leveraged the previous success of the Reboot programme, an omnichannel promotional store-based event to boost trade confidence in the new generation of platinum jewellery leveraging creative designs and new alloy innovations. PGI held roadshows across three provinces in the third quarter, in order to further facilitate the post-COVID recovery.
As all jewellery stores resumed normal operations, the growth of online jewellery sales volume slowed down. Jewellery sales on popular Chinese online shopping platform, Tmall, increased by 10% year-on-year in pieces during the third quarter, compared with 21% year-on-year growth in the second quarter. *
In the US, the bridal category led platinum jewellery retail sales recovery in Q3. US jewellery retail channels experienced a rebound, and platinum sales in the ‘symbolic meaning’ categories outperformed.
The current platinum price also generated renewed interest among retailers and PGI closely collaborated with a number of leading jewellers to launch platinum jewellery collections to capture the opportunity for the upcoming holiday season.
In Japan, the jewellery market continued to improve in the third quarter supported by cash handouts and sales growth in e-commerce and independent retailers located in areas less impacted by COVID-19. Platinum jewellery demand recovered to ~90% of the high base in Q3 2019, supported by bridal and high-end jewellery sales.
In India, the industry resumed business from July and chain stores, notably those partaking in PGI’s conversion programs, showed faster recovery and improved sales, while jewellers reported placing orders for the upcoming key festival and wedding season. High gold prices continue to present an opportunity for the platinum jewellery industry to convert consumers from gold to platinum, especially for entry price point products.
Despite an outlook clouded by potential risks of new waves of infections, consumers show a strong willingness to spend on products that celebrate important occasions and mark special milestones at a time when gatherings and travel remain restricted. Platinum is well positioned this holiday season, as it is the rarest among precious metals and represents and reinforces heightened emotional connotations. The advantageous price gap between platinum and gold also encourages retailers to continue to expand product offerings in ever more accessible price points.
To download the Platinum Jewellery Business Review Q3 2020 report, please visit here.
Note: *Data from BigOne Lab.