As in other personal luxury categories, luxury jewellery was hit hard by the dramatic decline in inbound tourism due to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, and especially the marked fall in the number of visitors from Mainland China, a key consumer group across personal luxury. This compounded an already challenging situation resulting from the social unrest sparked by protests about the proposed Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019.
The fall in consumer confidence and purchasing power resulting from moves aimed at containing COVID-19 had a particularly marked impact on the costume jewellery category in 2020. Fine jewellery, meanwhile, proved slightly more resilient because of the robust spending power of its core affluent consumer base, demand from collectors and the fact that such products are seen as an investment.
With consumers steering clear of physical stores and becoming even more digitally engaged than usual because of spending more time at home, jewellery brands sought to stay connected with consumers via digital channels, especially social media. Tiffany & Co, the largest player in the category, launched an Instagram story filter for its new product range, the T1 series, together with Elle HK, in 2020.
Luxury jewellery brands looking to drive initial recovery in the category as the threat from COVID-19 diminishes will need to attend to prevailing trends amongst local consumers, as the revival of international travel is likely to take time. A combination of delicate design and hard geometric shapes is the leading trend in the market entering the forecast period, with female consumers in Hong Kong and Mainland China appreciating the aesthetics of light jewellery.
Hong Kong consumers’ brand awareness and selection of jewellery styles are heavily influenced by product placement in K-dramas, television series made in South Korea. The delicate and modern aesthetic promoted by characters in K-dramas has proven aspirational for many local female consumers in Hong Kong.
E-commerce was already evolving rapidly in luxury jewellery prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and, indeed, received a boost from the civil unrest in Hong Kong in 2019. An increasing number of players, including Chow Sang Sang & Chow Tai Fook, have moved to selling jewellery online, and consumers’ reluctance to visit physical stores during the COVID-19 crisis has served to bolster brands’ interest in the channel, with Swarovski and APM Monaco amongst those pushing their online stores hard.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Jewellery industry in Hong Kong, China with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Jewellery research and analysis database.
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