Jewellery retailers like Signet Jewelers and Watches of Switzerland Group delivered stellar returns for shareholders in 2021, both more than doubling their share prices last year.

Ernest Jones and H Samuel parent company Signet Jewelers, which is more focused on jewellery, particularly in the United States, saw its share price rise by 135% as the Path to Brilliance strategy boosted profits.

Watches of Switzerland Group, which also operates on both sides of the Atlantic, benefited most from the hottest demand for luxury watches in recent history and saw its share price rise by 122%.

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Meanwhile, Chow Tai Fook, headquartered in Hong Kong, increased its empire to a staggering 5,214 points of sale last year, including 5,078 in mainland China and 136 in Hong Kong and Macau.

The continuing Covid restrictions prevented citizens of China and Hong Kong from travelling abroad, but domestic sales surged, rewarding Chow Tai Fook’s shareholders with a 49% rise last year.

The surge in stock prices for retail groups is markedly stronger than vertically integrated groups such as LVMH, Richemont, Swatch Group, Fossil Group and Movado Group, which manufacture and increasingly run their own retail empires.

Luxury groups Richemont and LVMH saw their share prices rise by 68% and 38% respectively.

The difference between the performance of retail specialists and integrated groups is graphically illustrated when you compare their share prices over two years.

Signet is the star performer, delivering a 400% rise in its share price since the start of 2020.

Watches of Switzerland’s share price rose by 284% over the same period.