De Beers Diamonds Mines a Younger Clientele in China

    De Beers opened a "new retail" Forevermark jewelry store in Shanghai, China to target the country's millennial consumers.
    Courtesy photo of Forevermark China
    Christine LeeAuthor
      Published   in Hard Luxury

    There’s a saying in the fine jewelry business, regarding customers, that “If you get them young, you’ll get them forever.” That wisdom is apparently not lost on London-headquartered diamond giant De Beers Group.

    De Beers just opened its 1,000th Forevermark jewelry store in China but this one is, strategically, very different. Dubbed "Libert'aime," the new retail concept targets Chinese millennials in particular with a pink, black and white interior design and a menu of lower prices, punchier styles—and, arguably, shiny interactive sales gimmicks.

    The new location also marks a contrasted departure from the traditional jewelry experience today, the first Libert’aime by Forevermark, which opened in Shanghai’s HKRI Taikoo Hui mall May 19 offers an Instagram-friendly “magic mirror”, a sparkling 3-D “diamond wall” display and a “diamond bar” where daily-wear jewelry can be laid out.

    Nancy Liu, CEO of Forevermark Asia Pacific and COO of Forevermark, said that many millennial consumers in China are looking for a fresh, exciting and seamless retail experience, so the biggest challenge is to offer them with a unique consumer retail experience.

    Leading jewelry trade magazine JCK noted that, with the launch, the store is seeking buyers splurging on themselves, rather than shopping for gifts. The company says it wants fashion-forward consumers “who are just starting their diamond journey.”

    There are apparently a lot of them. According to De Beers research, and as previously reported by Jing Daily, millennials worldwide account for slightly less than half of diamond retail sales, but they account for 68 percent of the diamond sales in China. Moreover, the demand for jewelry in China rose 10.4 percent in 2017. According to De Beer Group’s 2017 Diamond Insight Report, Chinese demand has been dominated by solitaire-type diamond jewellery, which accounted for 81 percent of pieces in 2016. The report also stated that millennials and brides also drove Chinese diamond jewelry demand growth.

    Courtesy photo of Forevermark China
    Courtesy photo of Forevermark China

    Also tapping the KOL marketing trend, Forevermark’s new Le Light jewelry collection is designed by actor and singer-songwriter Timmy Xu (许魏洲), 24, a celebrity on China’s acting and music scene.

    The Libert’aime by Forevermark brand is designed to be omni-channel, in that it combines online and offline platforms, including a WeChat store named Forevermark Diamond (永恒印记美钻).

    “The omnichannel retail model incorporating multiple digital platforms should aim to provide a seamless, personalized and consistent customer experience,” Liu said. “Although new retail models with Chinese characteristics began to rise from 2015 and today and has reached a critical stage that has been successful across many industries, the jewellery industry has still been slow to respond. The industry is still very much focused on the traditional sales model.”

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