Along with luxury timepieces, luxury jewellery is one of the most emblematic categories in luxury goods, and thus was amongst the first categories to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. As in other categories, luxury goods suffered from the closure of non-essential retail outlets throughout France from March to May 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic came at an unfortunate time for luxury jewellery in 2020 as the category was only just registering a recovery from the setbacks of the 2017-2018 period. Due to widespread strikes and the ‘gilets jaunes’ (‘yellow vests’) social movement, which culminated in widespread violence, especially in Paris, the category had seen its sales restricted as consumers avoided the violence and strikes of the difficult period in France.
All players suffered from declining sales in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Swarovski, however, suffered particularly significant losses in 2020, culminated in the loss of 600 employees in the middle of the year.
Luxury jewellery is not expected to recover immediately in the forecast period as the supply and demand chain of luxury jewellery will take some time to recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. As such, the category is not expected to recover pre-COVID-19 sales performance until the middle of the forecast period.
Following the 2009 recession, the purchase of gold exploded as consumers looked to more secure investments. The same effect is expected to follow the economic upheaval of the COVID-19 crisis in the forecast period.
One of the main issues facing luxury jewellery in France is the fact that the category tends to attract customers over the age of 40, with less interest from younger consumers. After the success of online players such as Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) and Farfetch in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions prompted a further acceleration of the expansion of e-commerce in the category.
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This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Jewellery research and analysis database.
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