Platinum jewellery industries across key markets are becoming increasingly innovative to improve margins, Platinum Guild International’s (PGI’s) first quarter 2019 ‘Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR)’ states.
The PJBR, published on Friday, notes that India continues to be the fastest growing market thanks to a business model that enables platinum to deliver higher margins than other jewellery categories.
“Volume is only one out of many success indicators. Retailers look to other metrics to tell them how well their business is doing, notably margin and turnover – metrics that platinum can compete in, given the right mix of product and marketing,” PGI CEO Huw Daniel notes.
India’s jewellery industry faced headwinds, struggling with tight liquidity and new regulations on cash spending ahead of the recent elections; however, conversion strategies and marketing campaigns aimed at young consumers drove platinum retail sales up 15% year-on-year in the first quarter.
PGI’s strategic partners saw their platinum jewellery businesses grow at a higher rate of 32% year-on-year.
Japan’s jewellery sales had started to slow, but picked up again in March, the PGI notes, adding that platinum jewellery sales in units grew 0.3% year-on-year in part owing to the low platinum price, and by taking market share from white gold.
The organisation notes that bridal jewellery sales are expected to bounce in Japan’s summer, given an anticipated increase in weddings during the first year of Japan’s new Imperial reign, the Reiwa era.
In the US, while retail sales at jewellery stores fell compared with the first quarter of 2018, platinum jewellery sales improved by 9% year-on-year, driven by a combination of the low metal price, and improved marketing.
China’s overall store traffic slowed, affecting growth of retail sales and jewellery consumption in the first quarter. Platinum sales at PGI retail partners in China contracted by 7% year-on-year, but the guild notes that innovators reported improvements in margin and turnover of their platinum jewellery, with some collections delivering margins on par with the highest margin categories.