PARIS — Despite the recent slowdown in consumer spending in China, Asia remains an El Dorado for jewelry sales.
The region, which accounts for 61 percent of the global jewelry market, has recorded the strongest growth worldwide in the last five years and offers strong potential going forward thanks to a vast reservoir of Millennials, according to a study from Euromonitor International.
“The growth in middle-income households and rising incomes in Asia will lead to a rise in spending on discretionary items, such as fine jewelry and luxury products,” predicted Johanna Kolerski-Bezerra, lead analyst for beauty and fashion at Euromonitor International.
“With 965 million Millennials in Asia-Pacific, this is a huge market that luxury goods and fine jewelry players alike can tap into,” she added, singling out Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand as markets with particularly high growth potential.
The Greater China market took a battering last year as the economy slowed, the yuan was devalued and the Chinese government continued its crackdown on conspicuous consumption.
Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd., the world’s largest publicly traded jewelry chain, saw revenues fall 12 percent and profit plummet 46 percent in the fiscal year ended March 31. The group is slowing the rate at which it opens stores and exploring ways to sell more jewelry online.
Euromonitor expects the global jewelry market to reach $316 billion in 2016. Asia-Pacific will account for $194 billion, followed by North America, with $68 billion, and Western Europe, with around $28 billion, the market research firm estimated.
In the past five years, the jewelry market has posted a compound average growth rate of 8 percent. Asia-Pacific has grown 12 percent annually, with Latin America and Africa posting increases of 8 percent each. North America has grown 3 percent a year, with Western Europe falling by an average of 1 percent.
Western Europe has been largely dependent on wealthy tourists, in particular from China, to fuel sales of luxury jewelry. This growth has stalled since Chinese consumers are tightening their purse-strings and Europe has been hit by a wave of terrorist attacks, Kolerski-Bezerra noted.
At the same time, the rise of fast-fashion retailers and growing demand for affordable luxury brands has weighed on the unit price of jewelry. Nonetheless, Euromonitor expects jewelry sales in Western Europe to rebound and post a CAGR of 1 percent between 2016 and 2021, led by the United Kingdom.
The U.K. is the region’s largest jewelry market and the sixth-largest worldwide after China, the United States, India, Japan and Canada.