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How is the jewelry market surviving the emergency?

Jewels, superstitions and Covid-19

By Jessica Marinetto

The jewel has always been considered one of the oldest forms of luxury of its kind, but it is also part of the category of universal currencies. A precious and at the same time brutally powerful object to finance wars, a huge paradox if we think about it.

It is now clear that luxury will suffer a severe blow following this health emergency, almost worse than the crisis of 2008, which drastically weighed on the global economy.

In fact, it has been estimated that the purchase of discretionary goods, such as fashion and luxury goods, will decrease by 30% in the coming months and from this dizzying drop the jewels will not remain completely immune.

The Italian jewelry giant Bulgari, who supported the fight against the virus by donating significant amounts of money to Spallanzani in Rome, has closed all its activities in Italy and is having a hand sanitizer produced in its perfume laboratory.

On the other hand, with shops and production closed, Bulgari is in an unprecedented situation and the only profit solution is sales on online e-commerce which, although they have increased, have never compensated for the loss of the transition in the stores.

However, after two months of quarantine, Chinese buyers seem eager to celebrate the end with the purchase of Bulgari jewelry. The hope of the Maison is to resume with purchases also in western markets with the new summer collection.

 
 
 
 
 
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Behold the unsung beauty. . Revealed in the reverse side of this necklace’s face lies a complexity often unseen, though utterly enthralling. From the earliest Bvlgari High Jewelry collections, utmost attention has been paid to every facet of our jewels, even those sides hidden from the world. Taken from our Heritage Collection, the colors radiating from the many elements of this necklace are absolutely captivating. But, as with all our creations, its real beauty runs deeper. . Pictured: Heritage Collection bib necklace in gold with multicolor sapphires and diamonds, 2005. . . #Bvlgari #HighJewelry #MasterofColors #TheBvlgariStory #BvlgariSupportsItaly

Un post condiviso da BVLGARI (@bulgari) in data:

The jewelry giant, however, does not seem to represent the situation as a whole, it reflects that of its competition but not that of an entire jewelry market.

Most of the historical brands and independent designers have a certain liquidity at their disposal, which allows them to go through this moment safely and to survive to the end of the storm that hit us.

Multi-brand retailers, however, are in a more complicated situation. The same, in fact, take delivery of the jewels and only once purchased by the customer, can they pay the jeweler who made them. This led Valery Demure, an agent who represents many independent jewelers to London, to say that some of her clients have not been paid since before the lockdown.

The jewelry houses, which have always had a strong online presence, have inevitably had more luck than others and have integrated the shopping experience making it as human as possible through virtual reality.

It was the case of the London brand Annoushka, which in addition to this foresight towards the customer, discovered an interesting truth. Despite having had an overall drop in sales, it noticed a rise in the curve for all his talismanic jewels and against the evil eye.

 
 
 
 
 
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Garden Party, Lounge Party, House Party. Jewellery. Every. Day.

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Carolina Bucci, a brand of Italian origin but based in London, gives the opportunity, however, to its customers to customize the jewelry. Thanks to this, he recorded from online sales a strong demand for engravings of words such as "lucky", "forte" or "wish well".

 
 
 
 
 
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Fiori Flowers Fleurs Flores Blomster Bloemen Kukkia Blumen Louloudia Fjuri Çiçekler Blommor Kkoch Hana Huahui Alzuhur Tsvety Phool Fugalaau Pua Ziedi Gėlės..... #carolinabucci #weareone

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Not all jewelery brands, however, have a strong digital strategy and as a result they will not be able to cover orders even once they are fully operational. This means that costs must be reduced at every level of production in order to guarantee the product to the customer. Starting from the price of gold that is soaring at the moment, to then go to the same designers who instead of asking for a large amount of expensive samples and further injure the craftsman, then the suppliers, could devote themselves to creating jewelry for special customers who turn out to be safer sales security right now.

However, there is a segment of this market that has been able to enjoy this situation although difficult. The auction houses have recorded an increase in the number of new collectors, but above all a record that makes even the most skeptical remain stunned with a sale rate of + 97%.

It therefore seems that at this moment the jewel is, of all discretionary purchases, the smartest one to invest in.

After all, people continue to celebrate birthdays and get engaged even if the world seems to have stopped.

 
 
 
 
 
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A time for reflection. As everyone stays at home, we are striving to stay connected with the masters behind Bvlgari. In our Masterclass at Home, Creative Director of Jewelry, @lucia_silvestri takes this opportunity to share her passion for precious gems, and invites you to discover why Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds hold such special qualities. Lucia has sought out perfect jewels for over 40 years and now, from her home in Rome, she reveals those used to create the most famed pieces of Bvlgari High Jewelry. Subtitles in English by clicking on the IGTV button (bottom left). . . #Bvlgari #HighJewelry #TributoAllaBellezza #MasterclassAtHome

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