In 2012, affected by the European sovereign debt crisis and the sluggish economic development, the demand in the global jewelry industry grew slowly, and China jewelry industry was also influenced. In 2012, the sales volume of China jewelry industry only grew by 19% year on year, much lower than 40.7% in 2011. Specifically, the consumption growth of gold, silver, platinum and diamond jewelry was slowing down, even saw negative growth.
Gold Jewelry. In China, the gold jewelry consumption accounts for about 50% of the total jewelry consumption. The consumption of gold jewelry in China amounted to 502.75 tons in 2012, up 10.09% year on year, lower than 27.88% in 2011. Chinese consumers are interested in pure gold and solid gold, and also like K gold jewelry in recent years.
Diamond Jewelry. Diamond jewelry is mainly used in the wedding market, in which diamond rings account for 70% of the total diamond jewelry consumption. Due to the lack of resources, China relies on the import of diamond raw materials. However, the import value and volume fell by 6.36% and 2.03% respectively in 2012. Currently, the consumers of diamond jewelry in China are mainly in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other first-tier cities, and the consumption is expected to extend to second and third-tier cities gradually.
With the entering of overseas and Hong Kong brands, the competition in China jewelry industry has gradually intensified. In addition to brands and design styles, terminal sales networks have become the focus that jewelry retailers compete for. A growing number of jewelry companies are making use of expansion to control terminal marketing networks firmly, and then grasp the sales initiative in order to obtain higher profits.
Lao Feng Xiang is the largest jewelry retailer in Mainland China, established in 1848. Its channel network is at the leading level in the industry. It had owned 2,015 self-operated and wholesale outlets by the end of 2011, far more than other enterprises. In its sales channels, distributors and franchisees occupy the high proportions of 60% and 30% respectively. In the future, Lao Feng Xiang will accelerate the development pace of franchise stores. It plans to increase about 120 new franchise stores each year during 2013-2015. Meanwhile, Lao Feng Xiang is expanding overseas markets. Lao Feng Xiang opened its first overseas franchise store in Sydney in August 2012, and intends to explore the markets in Hong Kong, Macao, Europe and America in the future.
As a Hong Kong jewelry retailer, Chow Tai Fook was founded in 1929 and entered Mainland Chinese in 1998. Now, it has surpassed Lao Feng Xiang to acquire the highest market share in Mainland China. In terms of sales channels, Chow Tai Fook mainly has self-operated stores and franchise stores. In H1 FY2013 (from Apr 1 to Sep 30, 2012), Chow Tai Fook opened 101 retail outlets in Mainland China. As for the expansion in Mainland China, it focuses on second, third and fourth-tier cities. In H1 FY2013, 40.6% of the new retail outlets were located in second-tier cities, 53.5% in third and fourth-tier cities.