China recorded a 4.7 per cent decline in jewellery retail sales in 2020 amid lockdowns, macroeconomic uncertainties and other business restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Data from the National Statistics Bureau of China also showed that sales of gold, silver and jewellery rose 11.6 per cent in December 2020 – extending a winning streak to seven consecutive months.
In 2019, the country’s jewellery sales saw a year-on-year uptick of 0.4 per cent. The figure declined further throughout the first half of 2020, but sales began to recover in July – recording a 7.5 per cent improvement – with the Covid-19 situation there gradually improving.
Industry stakeholders are counting on China’s economic comeback to fuel growth in the jewellery sector.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd earlier reported stronger third-quarter sales on the back of solid consumer demand coupled with the continued easing of pandemic cases in China.
The group’s overall retail sales during the three months ending December 31, 2020 soared by 17.5 per cent, with China recording a growth of 26.1 per cent from 11 per cent in the previous quarter. Hong Kong and Macau saw a narrower rate of decline at 12.5 per cent from 51.6 per cent in Q2.
Fellow jewellery retailer Luk Fook Holdings (International) Ltd also saw continued improvement in sales in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021. Retail sales from October 1 to December 31, 2020 were down 29 per cent from year-ago figures but reflected a slower rate of decrease from a drop of 55 per cent in the second quarter.
“With a relatively effective control of Covid-19 in the mainland market, its same store sales turned from a decline to an increase during the quarter,” noted Lukfook.