Jewellery sales in Western Europe slumped in 2020, with Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the measures taken to try and control its spread, having a negative impact on fine jewellery sales in particular. The closure for extended periods of non-essential bricks-and-mortar stores, including jewellery and watch specialist retailers, hit sales, as did the consumer tendency to prioritise spending on more essential products. Sales are immediately expected to pick up again in 2021.
Asia Pacific is the clear leader in global jewellery sales, well ahead of North America and Western Europe. China and India lead the region’s overall sales, which is attributable to strong demand for gold jewellery. The region has recovered from a slowdown in sales growth in 2016, and is poised for further growth over the forecast period, aided by the rise in the middle-class population.
More young and fashion-conscious consumers are seeking multiple on-trend and fashionable pieces for everyday styling. This has drawn them to purchase costume jewellery for its greater affordability. At the same time, the growing number of working women, coupled with strong demand for fast fashion brands, has also pushed the performance of costume jewellery.
Sales of jewellery in Asia Pacific, especially high-end pieces, are largely dependent on the flow of affluent tourists. Nevertheless, in a bid for steadier demand, retailers are opening stores in residential neighbourhoods to extend their presence and reach affluent local consumers.
Store-based retailing remains the key point of sales for jewellery, as consumers value the experience and services. However, as Asian consumers are becoming more digitalised, jewellers are adopting an omnichannel approach, such as the use of virtual try-on applications and “bricks-and-clicks” strategies, to ease online shopping.
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