This year’s International Jewellery London includes a packed schedule of insightful and inspiring seminars designed to help jewellery brands and retailers navigate the industry.
Here, Professional Jeweller speaks to Karla Rendle, research analyst for fashion and beauty at Euromonitor International (pictured), to find out the biggest trends in the UK and Italian luxury jewellery markets. To find out more, don’t forget to check out her seminar on Monday September 7 at 10am…
Q: Your talk will focus on the UK and Italian luxury jewellery and watch markets, have there been any big shifts in these areas recently?
One of the most interesting changes we have seen is that during a time of economic struggle (more so in Italy than the UK) absolute luxury jewellery and watches have remained in high demand from the most affluent consumers and wealthy tourists while simultaneously affordable luxury brands have also continued to perform well at the other end of the scale. These consumers are seeking luxury brands but at a value price tag, this has created somewhat of a polarisation among the luxury brands and their positioning.
In the UK a growing interest in costume and fashion jewellery and a more positive outlook on disposable income means there has been an opportunity for many luxury apparel brands to successfully launch jewellery and watches and a greater emphasis of consumer preference for trend and brand led demand rather than by precious stone or metal.
Q: You mention that wealth and spend are shifting towards emerging markets, are there any in particular worth noting?
South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are all emerging regions seeing strong growth as newly defined class identities help to grow an appetite for luxury jewellery and watches as symbols of status and wealth. Notable high performing countries include Malaysia which witnessed the second highest country percentage growth for retail luxury watches and jewellery sales in 2014 just behind India. The UAE is also witnessing very promising levels of growth in luxury jewellery and watches.
Q: What do you think brands need to do to compete on a global scale in 2015?
In 2015 global competition between jewellery and watch brands is more intense and aggressive than ever with competition coming from new entrants, particularly apparel designers, as well as the long established players. I believe that most importantly brands need to be fast reacting with marketing strategy, product lines and retail strategy in order to stay ahead of the competition, especially as we see trend and demand cycles moving at a greater speed.
The digital landscape is a vital component for a brands strategy, particularly social media presence and a defined online retail experience which intertwines and compliments offline purchases. Online retail experience should reflect the brand accurately and one of the key struggles for luxury brands will be successfully recreating the full premium luxury experience online.
Q: What else will you be covering in your seminar?
In the seminar I will cover the major trends for luxury jewellery and timepieces globally with a closer look at the UK and Italy. I will also look forward at the key opportunities and risks on the horizon. For example the launch of wearable technology and smart watches will pose both an opportunity and a threat for some of the key luxury watch companies. I will also examine the gender divide and the consumer patterns that are changing for Men and Women’s luxury jewellery and watches whilst looking to point out where key opportunities may be present.
Karla Rendle, Euromonitor International, Overview of the Luxury Jewellery and Watch Market: Focus on the UK and Italy, September 7, 10am-11am, Inspiration Theatre.