Top platinum industry leaders, innovators, experts and partners discussed the latest developments, challenges and opportunities in the Chinese platinum market at the Platinum Guild International (PGI®) China Platinum Jewellery Forum held in Shenzhen in December 2018. Forum participants also identified potential drivers of growth.
In his welcome remarks, Huw Daniel, CEO of PGI®, stated that China’s jewellery market is undergoing a fundamental strategic transition – not only is there a generational change in consumers; there is also a shift in the platinum industry’s business models, brought about by new media and new distribution channels. According to Daniel, to succeed in today’s market, platinum businesses should think outside the box and transition from a production-centric to a consumer-centric business model.
Based on market research data, chief strategy officer Tim Schlick pointed out at the forum that the global jewellery industry’s future will be significantly influenced by changes in consumer preference and retail trends. Challenges exist in many markets across the world. For instance, China, the US, Japan and India are affected by changing consumer demographics, the shift in preference from traditional jewellery to brand-name collections, and the rise of e-commerce and O2O commerce. These challenges will transform products, business models and the way businesses interact with consumers.
The forum featured a speech by top US casting expert Teresa Frye, who called on manufacturers to improve their platinum-casting techniques. As the world’s most celebrated brands recognise platinum jewellery’s superiority over its gold counterpart in nearly every way and are employing more platinum in their high-end pieces, manufacturers must upgrade their techniques to keep up with leading brands’ quality standards, noted Frye.
Furthermore, volume product is now being produced for middle-market consumers, for whom prices must be maintained at accessible levels. Therefore, platinum jewellery makers should perfect their manufacturing processes and boost efficiency to prevent an
unnecessary surge in platinum casting costs.
Huge potential in China
It is imperative for platinum businesses to constantly update their brand appeal to keep up with the ever-changing demands of new generation consumers. The platinum market still has immense untapped potential. Consumers celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, festivals, and personal achievements, which represents a high-value opportunity for the industry, and a way to expand beyond the bridal market. According to Dennis Kao, managing director of PGI® China, no matter how much the market changes in the future, platinum will always have a special place in the heart of consumers.
At the forum, PGI® reaffirmed its commitment to upgrade the platforms, mechanisms and services it offers creatively; deepen cooperation with partners at home and abroad, help introduce advanced technology from around the world to China, and encourage innovations in product design. PGI® also expressed its willingness to provide tailored support to its key platinum retail partners, helping them to gain a leading position in the market.
A number of roundtable discussions were held at the forum to facilitate dialogue among platinum manufacturers, brands and distributors. The fruitful discussions gave participants valuable insight into the industry’s latest trends, opportunities and challenges and inspired new business ideas.
After the roundtable discussions, three representatives from leading retailers shared their company's best practices in platinum category management and views on the platinum industry's current state and future.
The forum marked a new beginning for the platinum industry in China as it identified clear goals and guidelines for mechanism-building, cooperation and mutually beneficial growth. To better respond to current opportunities and challenges, PGI® is committed to working with its partners across industries to develop a strategy with four pathways – innovation, marketing excellence, collaboration and people, with the aim of further strengthening the Chinese platinum market.