Jewelry, the preferred product in Chinese wedding market, has presented robust performance bolstered by the demand for value preservation and enhancement in recent years and has become the fourth hot topic of consumption following home appliance, housing and automobile in China. As of the end of 2011, the annual sales of jewelry in China exceeded RMB300 billion, an increase of 2.4 times from RMB88 billion in 2000.
Among the jewelry products, gold, platinum and diamond jewelry are the most popular. Additionally, emerald and pearl jewelry also garner particular attention from the market.
Gold Jewelry. China is the second largest gold jewelry consumer after India. The consumption of gold jewelry in China amounted to 357.1 tons in 2010, accounting for 62.5% of the national gold consumption; and the figure grew 27.9% YoY to 456.7 tons in 2011.
Platinum Jewelry. China ranks No. 1 in platinum consumption in the world for years and consumed 52.4 tons of platinum jewelry in 2011, making up 68.3% of the global total.
Diamond Jewelry. China starts late in diamond jewelry consumption but witnesses rapid development, and has become the second largest diamond jewelry consumer after the United States. The boom is principally propelled by the wedding market, especially the demand for diamond rings, and the investment market.
The flourishing jewelry market of China fuels a number of competitive domestic enterprises, such as Chow Tai Fook, Laofengxiang, Chow Sang Sang and Old Temple Gold. Meanwhile, the international leading brands including Cartier, De Beers and Tiffany also enter the Chinese market and have occupied the high-end jewelry market of China.
Chow Tai Fook is the largest jewelry brand in China and mainly engages in gold jewelry, mosaic jewelry, platinum, K-gold and watches. By the end of September 2011, the company had 1,506 sales terminals (including watch stores) which were mainly distributed in mainland China, of which the jewelry outlets hit 1,421 and those in mainland China took 93.9%.
Lao Feng Xiang is the largest gold jewelry company in China. It consumed 45 tons of gold for its jewelry products in 2010, accounting for 12.6% of China’s total gold consumption and the proportion is expected to reach around 13% in 2011. Moreover, the company actively develops new products and now boasts four new kinds of products including “emerald, jade, pearl and natural gemstone” jewelry, in addition to the traditional four categories of products like “gold, silver, platinum and diamond” jewelry.
Chow Sang Sang, the first Hong Kong listed jewelry company, has two well-known brands, namely, Chow Sang Sang and Emphasis Jewelry, and has a number of stores in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. As of H1 2011, the company’s jewelry stores in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, and Taiwan registered 193, 41 and 22, respectively.
Old Temple Gold and Yayi Gold are the two successful gold jewelry brands of Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart. The gold jewelry sales of Yuyuan Tourist Mart got to RMB4.197 billion in 2010 and soared to RMB 7.927 billion in H1 2011, far exceeding the full year 2010 level.