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Platinum on the rise as market adapts to Covid-19 – PGI

8th December 2020

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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Platinum Guild International’s (PGI’s) third-quarter 'Platinum Jewellery Business Review', which surveys manufacturing and retail partners across key markets, indicates that although low prices have been a trigger to encourage buying, it has been product innovation and emotional connection of platinum jewellery that captured domestic markets of high spenders.

Globally, a rapid recovery in the third quarter of the year was primarily driven by sustained orders among mainland Chinese retailers and a demand pick-up in the US, PGI states.

PGI CEO Huw Daniel says the guild’s strategic partners across markets are continuing to report an improvement in sales, driven primarily by an abundance of exciting new platinum products that are new to the market and repositioning platinum for today’s younger consumers.

“With encouraging results from mainland China and the US, we remain optimistic about the upcoming festive and holiday seasons.”

In terms of China’s performance, PGI reports that stronger momentum in the mainland during the third 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.

As such, platinum jewellery fabrication increased 13% year-on-year, as a result of replenished orders from leading retailers that 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.

However, as all jewellery stores resumed normal operations, the growth of online jewellery sales volume slowed down, reports PGI. Jewellery sales on popular Chinese online shopping platform Tmall increased by 10% year-on-year during the third quarter.

US & JAPAN PERFORMANCE

In the US, the bridal category led a platinum jewellery retail sales recovery in the period under review.

Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, PGI reports that consumers are increasingly leaning towards meaningful products to celebrate relationships and milestones, a trend evidenced in the US jewellery market, where retail channels experienced a rebound, and platinum sales in the “symbolic meaning” categories outperformed.

In terms of Japan’s performance, PGI reports that 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

As such, platinum jewellery demand recovered to about 90% of the high base in the third quarter of 2019, supported by bridal and high-end jewellery sales.

With platinum being perceived as the “metal of love” and having a dominant position in Japan’s bridal jewellery, PGI points to some couples having chosen to spend more on bridal platinum jewellery during and post the pandemic with the delay in wedding ceremonies and the cancellation of honeymoons.

INDIA

In India, PGI reveals that the industry resumed business from July and chain stores, notably those partaking in PGI’s conversion programmes, showed a faster recovery and improved sales, while jewellers reported placing orders for the upcoming key festival and wedding season.

In addition, PGI reports that 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 the potential risks of new waves of infections, consumers show a strong willingness to spend on products that celebrate important occasions and mark special moments at a time when gatherings and travel remain restricted," PGI states.

As such, PGI reports that platinum is well positioned this holiday season, as it is the rarest among precious metals and represents and reinforces heightened emotional connotations.

Further, PGI reports that the advantageous price gap between platinum and gold also encourages retailers to continue to expand product offerings in ever more accessible price points.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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