5 Takeaways from PGI’s Latest Survey

SurveysOct 26, 2021

5 Takeaways from PGI’s Latest Survey

The new consumer survey looks at the importance of younger shoppers, why physical retail reigns supreme, and more.

A new consumer survey by Platinum Guild International gathered information on jewelry purchases from 2,000 consumers, ages 18 to 65, in four key markets: the United States, China, India and Japan.
New York—The demand for jewelry has remained strong in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, siphoning money usually reserved for vacations, dining out, and other activities hampered by health and safety measures.

Diamond jewelry demand has been especially robust, as per De Beers, Alrosa, and jewelers across the country.

The boom is expected to last through the holidays and beyond for all jewelry categories.

In a recent consumer survey, Platinum Guild International set out to understand more about what is behind the spike in demand.

PGI reached out to 2,000 consumers, ages 18 to 65, in four key markets, the United States, China, India and Japan, who have bought, and expect to buy, fine jewelry. The survey examines the rise in demand, as well as who and what is behind it.

Here are five important takeaways.

Millennials and Gen Z consumers will drive future purchases.

Younger consumers, including those who are millennials and Gen Zers, are expected to be the driving force in the fine jewelry category.

This is due in part to the fact that they are the main consumers of bridal jewelry, as per the survey.

However, more consumers in this category, ages 18-45, said they have plans to buy non-bridal jewelry in the next quarter and within the next year, either for themselves or to give as a gift.

“Millennials and Gen-Z consumers, who are leading the future market growth, have given more attention to platinum to express their value and celebrate special moments and cherished relationships,” said Zhenzhen Liu, PGI’s director of global corporate marketing, in a press release about the survey.

“This creates an exciting opportunity for the jewelry industry to seize.”

 Related stories will be right here … 

Physical retail remains king.

Online shopping is strong, but physical retail isn’t going anywhere just yet.

Physical retail is the top channel for shopping across all markets surveyed.

In the U.S., China, and India, shoppers head to e-commerce sites and social media to browse and gather information about products, but physical stores tend to be where the transactions happen.

In the U.S., 90 percent of those surveyed feel comfortable shopping in stores.

As for gathering information about a purchase, TV is the top channel, followed by word-of-mouth and Amazon.

White gold and natural diamonds are still U.S. favorites.

The survey also took a look at which gems and metals respondents preferred.

Natural diamonds and gemstones were the top pick across all markets when compared with lab-grown stones or jewelry without stones.

Preference for platinum jewelry was highest in Japan, though demand has risen in China. Demand remains stable in other markets.

Rose gold is particularly popular in China, Japan, and India.

In the U.S., preference on jewelry metals didn’t change much.

White gold remains the favorite, especially among women, though there was still interest in yellow and rose gold as well as platinum.

“We continue to see growth of the demand for platinum jewelry, quarter after quarter, in 2021”, said Jenny Luker, president of PGI USA.

“This sustained upward activity as we move into the all-important holiday season should ensure retailers that the demand for platinum jewelry is evident and they should prepare their inventory accordingly to meet consumer demand.”

Demand for non-bridal jewelry is strong.

In the U.S. China, and India, the demand for non-bridal jewelry remains strong, with about 70 percent of those surveyed expecting to buy non-bridal jewelry this coming year.

Demand in the category is stable in the U.S. and Japan while demand is particularly high in China.

The Indian market saw a slight recovery, particularly in Hyderabad, following the previous quarter’s decline.

The women surveyed were more likely to buy non-bridal jewelry for themselves or to receive it as a gift, while men would more likely buy it as a gift.

Looking ahead, plans to purchase non-bridal jewelry are in line with the past year’s purchase pattern, said the survey.

Future demand is strong in the U.S., China, and India while a small number of those surveyed in Japan expect to buy or receive jewelry in this category in the coming year.

For bridal jewelry, demand is stable in the U.S. and India while demand is down in China.

Sustainability is a deciding factor.

Sustainability is more than a buzzword, holding particular importance for U.S. shoppers.

Looking at the U.S. market, more than 70 percent of those surveyed agreed it was important for jewelry to be responsibly sourced. 

In fact, responsible sourcing was the most important sustainability factor for Americans surveyed.

That was followed by environmental impact and social impact on communities, traceability of materials, and ensuring that materials are coming from independently audited sources.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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