Jewelry sales jump 42% in China

Updated: 2012-02-28 13:54

By Lu Chang (China Daily)

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China's jewelry retailers saw a huge spike in sales last year, with strong demand for gold and precious stones surging, a report by Frost and Sullivan Company shows.

Jewelry sales in China totaled 18.37 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) in 2011, up 42 percent year-on-year, outstripping the 17.1 percent growth in sales of all consumer goods, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

"China's jewelry sector has become a hot spot fueled by surging investment demand for gold and precious stones," said Jiang Wenwei, a senior analyst with Frost and Sullivan, a US consultant company. "While the future for the stock market and housing sector still looks gloomy, more investors purchased gold to maintain or increase its value."

Another drive behind the booming industry is spending power of middle-class consumers, who are more ready than ever to splurge on things that will add some color to their lives.

"People's affection for jewelry is no longer limited to larger cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing," Jiang said, adding that more jewelry retailers are looking beyond traditional battlefields and spending more effort to dig into the pocketbooks of the newly rich in smaller cities.

Chow Tai Fook, a Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer, plans to expand its network to 2,000 stores by 2020 in far-flung parts in China, he said.