Despite uncertain global financial conditions and geopolitical tensions, India’s economy has been resilient this year.
As a result, its jewellery industry has seen “exceptional growth”, with platinum benefiting from this through considerable growth on the back of positive consumer sentiment, higher store traffic and marketing programmes initiated by global marketing organisation the Platinum Guild International (PGI), PGI India MD Vaishali Banerjee says in a market update for platinum jewellery in India.
“Platinum fabrication witnessed fast-paced growth in the first half of 2022, with retailers wanting to stock up for key festivals like Akshaya Tritiya, the summer wedding season and Platinum Season of Love – a key retail activation programme driven by PGI.
“During this period, PGI witnessed year-on-year fabrication growth of over 70%, albeit against a very muted second quarter in 2021, which was impacted by the second wave of the pandemic and partial lockdowns,” she outlines.
Banerjee notes that a further measure of the strength of the platinum jewellery market in India has been the 125% growth in orders, when compared to 2019, received by platinum manufacturers at the yearly Platinum Buyer Seller Meet in July.
“This is testimony to the confidence retailers have in their ability to continue growing sales of platinum jewellery post-pandemic,” she states.
Looking at the outlook for the platinum jewellery market in India for the remainder of the year, Banerjee says that, after a strong start, the initial market feedback for the key festive season in the final quarter of the year, including Diwali, has been strong and retail sales are expected to deliver growth across all categories.
In terms of fabrication, PGI expects this to reach 6 t, or 180 000 oz, this year.
“Recently the import duty on platinum was increased to bring it in line with that of gold. Our industry partners are not reporting any negative impact as a result of the duty increase. In fact, it should bring transparency and clarity across the board.
“Our strategic partners, who account for 61% of total platinum retail sales in India, are seeing strong growth and are poised to exceed pre-pandemic sales in 2022. The rest of the market is likely to be at par with 2019 sales growth,” she outlines.
Banerjee mentions that PGI has introduced a digital-first strategy to engage with young consumers for its branded categories.
“The focus on digital helps platinum by addressing consumers across the purchase journey from discovery to fulfilment,” she said.
Digital is, however, an emerging channel; PGI’s March 2022 consumer study shows that 65% of surveyed Indian consumers aged 18 to 40 still prefer buying jewellery in a physical store.
“Precious jewellery is a category where physical stores and in-store experience are vital, as consumers want to feel, hold and try on the products, given their high value,” she notes.