The Jewelry retailer category declined 31 percent, more than any other category in the BrandZÔ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2017. One brand dropped from the ranking and the three remaining brands lost value: Lao Feng Xiang, Eastern Gold Jade, and Ming Jewelry. Last year the Jewelry Retail led category value growth.
Brands experienced pressure on revenue and profit as sales slowed for the first time in a decade. During the first 10 months of 2016, retail sales of gold, silver, and jewelry declined 0.9 percent, according to China’s National Bureaus of Statistic. Multiple economic and demographic factors produced this category reversal.
Fewer tourists from Mainland China to Hong Kong, and lower spending hurt the category, as Hong Kong is an important center of Jewelry retail. Similarly, weaker customer traffic in Mainland shopping malls reduced sales. Purchasing that shifted from malls to e-commerce usually did not include expensive jewelry.
Changing spending priorities and tastes also affected the category. Chinese often buy jewelry, especially gold, to celebrate a wedding or another special event. Traditional designs drove most sales. Jewelry styles are evolving, however, influenced by the millennial consumer preference for items that are more personalized. Ming Jewelry responded to this trend with the acquisition of a jewelry brand specifically positioned to attract young customers.