WGC report on Chinese jewellery market

Oct 09, 2023

Recently World Gold Council (WGC), published the report: 2023 Chinese jewellery market insights, Gold continues to lead the market! In the report the WGC said, gold shining brightly! As Chinese jewellery retailers shook off the pandemic, many strode into 2023 with strong expectations. But the recovery has been bumpy.

In the face of economic uncertainties and the record-level renminbi (RMB) gold price, understanding current trends and future possibilities is fundamental to jewellers’ businesses. We have partnered with China Gold News to produce the 2023 edition of our annual Chinese jewellery market insights.

The main findings include,

1: Relatively strong sales performances have led to a rising dominance of gold products in retailer inventories,

2: Heritage, Hard-Pure and mass-appeal gold jewellery products contributed the most to retailer margins; these products make up the majority of inventories.

3: Lighter products gained traction; their pricing structures are becoming more transparent! While most retailers believe gold jewellery markets in their regions may have reached saturation, some – mainly from high-tier cities-see potential.

2023 Chinese jewellery market insights highlights,

1: Chinese jewellery retailers have expressed mixed feelings so far in 2023. Follow the end of pandemic restrictions, 2023 has seen improved gold jewellery demand compared to 2022.

Our Gold Demand Trends report shows a 17% y/y rebound in China’s gold jewellery consumption in H1 (328t). The post-pandemic economic revival was the major contributor.

2: But the recovery story is not all roses. Many retailers told us that sales fell off a cliff after the International Women’s Day in March. Our data also indicates a stark q/q drop in Q2 (-37%). The weaker-than-expected economic recovery, a record-high RMB gold price and seasonality drove this decline.

3: Structural changes are also of concern to retailers. For instance, changes in product pricing models and consumer purchasing motivations became a double-edged sword for many. And as product popularity shifts, retailer inventories must adapt.

4: The economic recovery remains uncertain. This, together with the structural trends mentioned above may present challenges to gold jewellery demand. It will be crucial for retailers to be aware of the latest and key market trends if they are to identify and pre-empt opportunities.

5: Against this backdrop we undertook the fourth annual Chinese jewellery retailer survey in cooperation with China Gold News. To capture a comprehensive picture, we collected 538 validated responses from jewellery retail shop managers and regional market directors at both national chains and local brands in 76 cities located within 21 different provinces.

Fieldwork took place between July and August 2023 via both online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. Our random sample includes stores in malls (57%) as well as those on streets (43%), reflecting the current divide in the market and mitigating possible biases arising from store types.

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