Jewellery and Watches Sector

An Expert's View about Textiles, Apparel and Accessories in Hong Kong SAR

Posted on: 24 Aug 2012

Sales in the jewellery sector in Hong Kong have grown 472% over the last 5 years (2007 to 2011).

Jewellery and Watches Sector in Hong Kong Hong Kong is a wealthy, cosmopolitan city. Shopping is a major pastime in Hong Kong and one of the main draws for visitors from Mainland China. Macao has a thriving hospitality industry with several 5 star resort hotels and malls. Both Hong Kong and Macao have no sales tax, attracting millions of visitors each year from for whom jewellery and watches are amongst the most popular purchases. Market overview Hong Kong has one of the highest GDPs in Asia and Hong Kong consumers are amongst the most discerning and wealthy in the world. Hong Kong & Macao have no sales tax which keeps prices competitive compared to elsewhere in the region. Due to its geographical location at the heart of Asia Pacific, Hong Kong also serves as a re- export hub for China and other Asian markets. This gives the potential to reach far beyond Hong Kong’s 7 million consumers and 42 million visitors a year (2011 figures). Shopping, in particular for jewellery and watches, is the main attraction for many of these visitors. Retail sales grew 25% in 2011, with jewellery, watches, clothing, footwear and leather goods sales accounting for 39% of all retail sales. 67% of visitors to Hong Kong in 2011 came from Mainland China, an increase of 24% from 2010. Just under half of Hong Kong’s visitors from Mainland China stayed at least one night. The total spent by visitors to Hong Kong is estimated to have increased 20% from 2010. Mainland visitors accounted for 20% of all retail sales in Hong Kong in 2010 (2011 figures not available), and 50% of all luxury goods sales. Sales in the jewellery sector in Hong Kong have grown 472% over the last 5 years (2007 to 2011). Spending on luxury goods in market by Hong Kong locals is forecast to double over the 10 years from 2010 to 2020, whereas spending in Hong Kong by Mainland visitors on luxury goods is forecast to increase by 800%. UK Jewellery brands established in Hong Kong include Graff, David Morris London, Shaun Leane and Links of London, which all have standalone stores, Family owned jeweller Boodles opened a concession within the Lane Crawford department store in 2011, their first overseas venture. Lane Crawford also stocks other UK designer ranges including Stephen Webster and Theo Fennell. There are niche opportunities for small designers for both fine and costume jewellery and as the market matures, these opportunities are likely to increase. These types of collections are sold in small boutiques, online stores, and at seasonal fairs and private events. Recently jewellery galleries have set up, offering unique pieces of handmade jewellery that border on art. Hong Kong is also a major location for auctions of high end jewellery and UK auction houses such as Bonhams, Christies and Sothebys are major players in this sector. At a Christies auction in Hong Kong in May 2012 a pink diamond ring sold for US$17.4 million. Hong Kong is a popular auction location because there is no sales tax, and it is a convenient location to attract bids from high net worth buyers from Mainland China. Swiss made watches are the most popular type in Hong Kong. The luxury end of the watch market is seeing the most rapid growth. UK watch brands available in Hong Kong include Bremont and Backes & Strauss. Rotary plans to launch in Hong Kong in 2012. Macao has been developing rapidly for a number of years. The liberalisation of the gaming industry and the opening of several new resort hotels mean that gaming revenue now exceeds that of Las Vegas, and Macao’s GDP per head now exceeds that of Hong Kong. The luxury jewellery and watch sector in Macao has grown rapidly alongside the gaming industry. Key opportunities ξ Fine jewellery – both ready to wear collections and bespoke pieces ξ Heritage brands ξ Designer jewellery with a celebrity following ξ High value jewellery auctions ξ Luxury designer watch brands Latest export opportunities – Clothing, Footwear & Fashion Latest export opportunities Hong Kong Getting into the market Hong Kong is a duty free port, and import and export procedures requirements are minimal. Import duties do not apply to jewellery or watches and there is no sales tax. For big names, a standalone store is an option. Most brands work with a local brand operator, but this is not mandatory. Licencing designs to local partners for manufacture in the region is also a possibility. Watch brands typically appoint a distributor based in Hong Kong to enter the market. For jewellery, it is more common for brands to deal direct with the retailer, whether a large or small player in the market. More about doing business in Hong Kong Contacts Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists based overseas - or contact your local international trade team Caroline Sprod, Assistant Trade Commissioner, British Consulate-General Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2901 3360 or email: Kate Strutt, Senior Trade Adviser, British Consulate-General Hong Kong Tel: +852 2901 3464 or email: UKTI Events UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows. Latest events – Clothing, Footwear and Fashion Major Events Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair 2012 Date: 5 - 9 September 2012 Website address: Clock-Fair.html Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2012 Date: 19 – 25 September 2012 Website address: Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2013 Date: 5 – 9 March 2013 Website address: Jewellery-Show.html Useful links More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters
Posted: 24 August 2012

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Expert Views    
Clothing Industry in Hong Kong   By Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)
Fashion and Clothing Sector   By UK Trade & Investment
Jewellery and Watches Sector   By UK Trade & Investment