Despite ongoing challenges escalated by the pandemic, platinum jewellery retailers and manufacturers reported a sustained recovery across three of four key markets, according to the latest Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR) Q1 2021 report by Platinum Guild International (PGI). The strong momentum is also evidenced by a recent consumer survey which highlights continued positive consumer sentiment and strong appetite for precious jewellery that mark special moments in difficult times.
“The jewellery industry has seen precious jewellery demand return in the first quarter of 2021, but the recovery could slow in some markets as subsequent waves of Covid cloud the outlook. Other than accelerated trends within the industry, what we’ve seen in the last year is a renewed enthusiasm for platinum. Jewellers are increasingly engaging with this precious metal, which has been effectively marketed as a metal of meaning and become important as consumers look for ways to symbolise and mark occasions in restricted and unprecedented times,” said Huw Daniel,Chief Executive Officer of PGI.
In China, PGI has seen the jewellery category increase sharply in Q1 2021, against a low base in the same period affected by Covid-19 last year, with platinum fabrication increasing by 65% year-on-year. PGI retail partners reported a 52% growth compared to the same period of 2020, driven by newly launched or refreshed platinum collections, coupled with promotional activities.
The USA market continued its strong rebound since Q3 2020 driven by the decline in Covid cases, vaccination rollouts and government subsidies. Platinum jewellery sales of PGI USA’s strategic partners experienced robust year-on-year growth of 11%, mainly attributed to growth in gemstone fashion jewellery and strong demand for bridal jewellery due to postponed weddings and engagements.
Japan, historically the strongest market for platinum jewellery, experienced a 5.5% year-on-year decline in platinum jewellery retail sales in Q1. Platinum jewellery sales from non-store channels rose by 15% year-on-year in Q1, with both e-commerce and TV shopping expanding the target audience during the home-bound year of Covid-19.
The Indian market began the year on a positive note following a five-month decline in the number of new cases. Leveraging on festivals and the wedding season, PGI partners saw success with a “Platinum Days of Love” campaign alongside an in-store activation programme, “Month of Love”, which drove conversions to platinum from gold and diamonds. In fact, PGI strategic retail partners with 642 stores reported 17% year-on-year growth in platinum sales in Q1. However, as the pandemic regained momentum towards the end of March, the outlook for Q2 looks uncertain.