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Platinum will fulfil pent-up market demand for the upcoming season with PGI’s recovery strategy

Retail Jeweller India

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Platinum will fulfil pent-up market demand for the upcoming season with PGI’s recovery strategy

The precious metal has catered to the youth’s demand for individualistic, minimalistic jewellery designs across price points. Vaishali Banerjee, MD, Platinum Guild International discusses with The Retail Jeweller about the market recovery plan for the next two quarters of 2021

The Retail Jeweller (TRJ): How has platinum fared during the pandemic across all price points of jewellery?

Vaishali Banerjee (VB): The gems and jewellery industry saw a visible impact due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  PGI chartered a growth strategy along with its partners to enable optimal business recovery in Q3 and growth in Q4. In October 2020, PGI launched the ‘Season of Hope’, a consumer and retail activation programme. The results were excellent with all participating retailers posting a 29% growth during the activity period versus the same period in 2019. Overall Q4, 2020 delivered +20% growth over 2019 despite the pandemic setting the business back on track.

Q1 2021 continued the growth trajectory as our partners reported a growth of approximately 17% in platinum sales in Q1 (Jan – March) 2021 vs Q1 (Jan – March) 2020.

Our consumer research indicated the strong affinity among young women for Evara and the potential that lay beyond the bridal gifting. In response to that in Q4 2020, we launched the self-purchase collection under Evara which received excellent traction from consumers across the country. This collection is accessible at a price point ranging from INR 50,000 to INR 1,50,000 and has been well-received by the young TG.

TRJ: Gold has had a steep price rise during the pandemic. In comparison, what features have platinum shown to distinguish it in the precious metal category in such a volatile market scenario?

VB: Despite the pandemic, we have seen that platinum has maintained a strong and consistent awareness among consumers. The total awareness stands at 84% and spontaneous at 58% according to our latest Brand Track.  PGI’s strong marketing strategies have led to a robust consideration of 87% and growing acquisition of 50% in last two years for the metal among consumers. The core equities of rarity are 61% and it being a metal of choice for today’s generation at 67% are aligned with PGI’s strategy to build desire among the young consumer by driving differentiation from gold. Also, the equity of Platinum being a clear symbol of love for consumers is as high as 59%.

Platinum is 30 times rarer and 40% denser than gold and is extremely durable, resilient, and long-lasting. Our Quality Assurance program ensures that all platinum jewellery under the PGI program is rigorously monitored and audited for quality and purity and consumers are assured of 95% platinum even for gem-set jewellery. 

TRJ: What are the recovery strategies PGI and the platinum jewellery industry are undertaking to promote platinum jewellery better now?

VB: With marketing campaigns for Platinum Days of Love and Platinum Evara in August and September, PGI aims to drive store walk-ins and optimize demand ahead of the season. Through these campaigns, Platinum Days of Love will leverage the planned purchase ahead of the upcoming wedding season and Evara will aim to capitalize on festive gifting and self-purchase. Both the brands offer jewellery across price points to address consumer’s restraint mindset and need for value.

 PGI has planned its signature retail activation programme ‘Season of Hope’ in October to capitalize on the key festive season from Dussehra to Diwali. In October, we will also be launching the new product collection for Men of Platinum to coincide with the Cricket World Cup as a vehicle for marketing campaign. In November, we have planned a new collection for Platinum Days of Love supported by an integrated marketing campaign. December will see Evara’s new collection under self-purchase supported by an integrated marketing campaign.

TRJ: How has platinum performed as precious jewellery over the years?

VB: Over the last decade, we have invested in building values to strengthen a strong foothold in the precious jewellery category and create a differentiated space for platinum.

Our strategic efforts, aimed at creating awareness, education, and aspiration around platinum as a metal, remain a top priority. At a branded level we ensure that we unravel newer segments, as we have done more recently with men in 2019 with the launch of Men of Platinum. 

We collaborate very closely with our strategic partners over design, merchandise mix, marketing, and training and education, branding and visibility. Other key strategic initiatives have included platinum in the gold section – an initiative aimed at capitalizing on consumer desire for platinum creating opportunities for upselling. The bi-metal product that we have conceptualized is stocked in the gold section and helps lower any barriers of entry into the category.

Till 2019 we were looking at an average of 20% Y-o-Y growth amidst our strategic partners. Last year despite the pandemic taking on several businesses, we managed to do tremendously well in Quarter 4 (Oct-Dec 2020) with 29% growth. This year we are hoping for a similar or maybe even better response from the consumers and the market. Our appeal has spread beyond metros today. Geographies like Baroda and Cochin feature in our top 10 markets and almost 60% of the traffic to our websites is from beyond the key metros.

TRJ: With jewellery purchase moving more towards bridal post-pandemic, has there been any significant change in consumer sentiment towards platinum?

VB: Since the pandemic, PGI partnered with Nielsen for a quantitative research every quarter to understand consumer preferences and sentiments. The findings indicate that in Q2 2021, self-purchase saw a rise in comparison to making a purchase of precious jewellery for gifting purposes (27%).

Over the last one year, as consumer sentiment has been impacted, they are now leaning more towards meaningful and deliberate purchases. About 79% of consumers intend to purchase precious jewellery for themselves in the next one month as per the Q2 2021 report. In this context, the outlook for non-bridal precious jewellery looks promising.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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