Gauging the Success of Non-Jewellery Specialists in Costume Jewellery

Jewellery is an extremely fragmented category in most markets, and costume jewellery even more so. Euromonitor International analyses whether companies which do not specialise in jewellery have managed to create an impression in costume jewellery.

Apparel and other personal goods players

Non-jewellery specialists which do not focus on costume jewellery manufacturing as the mainstay of business have continually tried their luck in the category. Although apparel players continued to try and penetrate costume jewellery over the 2006-2011 period, only a few managed to integrate the category successfully into their global portfolio. Western Europe is the leading region in this regard as several apparel retailers such as Accessorize, Claire’s and H&M enjoyed a recognisable presence in costume jewellery in 2011. Banana Republic is another similarly positioned player operating primarily in the US. Beauty and personal care seller Avon and watch brand Fossil also command brand appeal in jewellery. Although they do not specialise in the category, several luxury goods brands such as Piaget, Montblanc and Gucci also operate jewellery collections.

Brand growth

Apart from the luxury segment, all the brands mentioned above either lost share or registered extremely limited growth in jewellery over 2006-2011. This was partly due to the brands concentrating on their respective primary product offerings as the global financial crisis and the ongoing EuroZone debt crisis affected consumer spending. In contrast, well-distributed global players in costume jewellery, such as Swarovski and Pandora, grew appreciably over the same period. This underlines the significance of branded costume jewellery even within a fragmented competitive landscape as discretionary spending in developed markets seems to be directed by brand rather than price.

What the future holds

Although global real jewellery players such as Tiffany, Cartier and Chow Tai Fook have historically dominated real jewellery, they are likely to experiment more with costume jewellery over 2012-2017. Non-precious metals and gemstones will be increasingly used by jewellers as raw material prices have skyrocketed over the past five years. While apparel players are expected to regain some of their traditional traction within costume jewellery, the category’s global growth will be driven by core jewellery manufacturers looking to diversify their geographical spread.