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Luxury jewelry market facing dazzling future

Luxury jewelry market facing dazzling future

Write: Karla [2011-06-09]

Luxury jewelry has traditionally not been considered as profitable as high-end watches, handbags and garments in the Chinese market.

But this is fast changing. The country's fine jewelry market has been growing steadily in the past two years, and consumers are becoming more sophisticated.

In a sign of the growing importance of the world's fastest growing jewelry market, top-of-the-range German jewelry label Wellendorff opened its first boutique store in Beijing's new China World Trade Center Tower 3 in May. It is the luxe label's second store in Asia.

Luxury jewelry market facing dazzling future

According to Christoph Wellendorff, the fourth generation to lead the family company, which was founded in 1893, the first Asian store in Hong Kong "has exceeded our expectations and is doing very well".

But he noticed more Chinese mainland consumers buying their products in boutique stores in Berlin and San Francisco in the past two years. This gave him the idea of opening a store in Beijing.

"This is a sign that we need to look at China more closely," he says.

Wellendorff's Beijing store has a wide collection of its latest products, which include bracelets, earrings and triplet rings that come in many colors, allowing customers to mix and match.

Just half a month later, and less than 2 kilometers from the World Trade Center, De Beers opened its first China store in the city's luxury hub, Shin Kong Place.

The new boutique store features De Beers' most important collections, including solitaires, timeless classics and unique High Jewelry creations. To celebrate the event, a stunning Pink Talisman Medal was unveiled, which features a rare pink rough diamond surrounded by white rose-cut diamonds set in pink gold.

Francois Delage, CEO of De Beers, says the newly opened store will help build on their relationship with Chinese customers.

Local jewelers are also gearing up for a slice of the cake. Well-known TV host Yang Lan's new boutique store will be opening shortly.

Her label, Lan Fine Jewelry, was created by Yang and Canadian diva Celine Dion four years ago. While Dion is one of the main sponsors, Yang is in charge of the designs and marketing in China.

Yang has traveled to more than 40 countries, where she noticed that jewelry was not just an investment, but also part of women's daily lives.

The Chinese typically keep their expensive jewelry under lock and key and there is also a tradition that dictates that men buy jewelry for women.

But, Yang says, "Nowadays jewelry wearers are more independent. Women do not expect men to buy them diamonds, but purchase them on their own".

Yang has many female friends who buy themselves jewelry as a reward for a promotion, as a birthday gift, or for their mothers. Lan Fine Jewelry now has many loyal customers, who are office workers and businesswomen, and the store is meant to cater to them.

The jewelry market, which was dominated by diamonds and gold, is now more diversified with precious and semiprecious stone jewelry becoming more popular.