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Gold jewelry is trending among Chinese Gen Z shoppers, shaking up a market dominated by silver and diamonds.
Generation Z and millennials accounted for 20% of gold jewelry purchases in Beijing malls, up from 10% last year, according to a report by CCTV Finance. In an interview with CCTV Finance, Ye Bin, the manager of China Gold’s flagship store in Beijing, said that sales during the Spring Festival holiday increased 60% year-on-year, thanks to to younger customers. And there is growing potential: a survey conducted by the World Gold Council in 2021 found that 60% of Chinese consumers have not yet purchased gold jewelry, but are considering doing so, up from 16% in 2016.
How to Sell Fine Jewelry to Gen Z
Emerging fine jewelry designers, including O Thongthai, Bernard James and Bea Bongiasca, are focusing on Gen Z and Millennials, while inventing new ways to connect with them.
According to the 2022 China Gold Market Outlook report previously released by the World Gold Council, a defining characteristic of the gold market in China is that the market price of gold jewelry is highly transparent.
With the global economic downturn and turbulent geopolitical situation, savvy young consumers have also taken a liking to the “value preserving investment” of gold jewelry. The figures reflect a change in attitude towards gold jewelery and an opportunity for local stores and international brands.
A spike in popularity
“I used to think gold was very down to earth, but now if you ask me if I should buy gold or diamonds for the wedding, my answer has changed – I want gold, no only to be beautiful, but to preserve its value,” said Yin Chen, a 23-year-old customer.
National jewelry brands have started collaborating with popular franchises to attract the interest of young customers. In 2020, Luk Fook Jewelery collaborated with Chinese video game Nezha; and Chow Sang Sang and Cai Bai Jewelery have both launched a joint series with the Forbidden City.
Launching sub-ranges or sub-brands is also a smart way to reach younger customers. In 2016, Chow Tai Fook launched the trendy jewelry brand Monologue, and in 2017 launched the So In Love brand, which targets the luxury bridal market; and, in 2019, Chow Sang Sang launched the fashion concept brand Minty Green.