Two of China’s high-end jewelry retailers, Tse Sui Luen Jewelry (谢瑞麟珠宝) and Chow Tai Seng Jewelry (周大生珠宝), made the keenly watched Deloitte “Global Powers of Luxury Goods” annual ranking for the first time, according to the just-released 2018 report. The companies joined seven other Chinese firms on the list, and were ranked 71st and 72nd, respectively.
Topped by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and The Estee Lauder Companies, the list ranks the world’s top 100 luxury goods firms based on sales in the fiscal year 2016. It also offers insights into the health of the global luxury market and its leading players.
In total, nine Chinese brands were included in this year’s rankings, all but one of them jewelers. Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group (周大福) made the top 10, ranking tenth, and beating luxury powerhouses such as Hermès International and Rolex. Chow Tai Fook is very active in the licensing market, selling jewelry related to Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel characters, along with higher-end fine pieces.
However, Chow Tai Fook reported annual growth was down 9.4 percent from the year-earlier and it slipped from the ninth position last year. The Deloitte report indicated that the brand has ramped up its efforts to sell in the mainland market by forming partnerships with online platforms like JD.com and Tmall, and that this strategy has apparently proven effective given a rise in sales since the second quarter FY 2016.
The Shanghai jewelry brand Lao Feng Xiang (老凤祥) ranked 13th on the list, followed by Chow Sang Sang (周生生,30th), Luk Fook Holdings (六福,35th), Eastern Gold Jade (50th), and Zhejiang Ming Jewelry (浙江明牌珠宝, 64th).
The Hong Kong-based fashion giant Trinity Limited, which owns labels including Cerruti 1881, Kent & Curwen and Gieves & Hawkes, is the only Chinese luxury fashion brand on the list. Its ranking dropped to 95 from 89, with a 7.2 percent decline in sales. However, the brand has recently been acquired by apparel firm Shandong Ruyi Group, which also snapped up luxury brand Bally early this year and owns a controlling stake of the French luxury group SCMP. The new mainland owner is seeking to invigorate Trinity Limited as it is aspiring to build a Chinese luxury empire.
Though more Chinese companies made this list than the previous one, China as a region experienced a 9.4 percent decline in sales, making it the poorest-performing region among the eight major markets on the list, the others being France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland the United Kingdom and the United States. Lao Feng Xiang and Chow Tai Seng are the only two Chinese companies posting positive annual growth, up 2.1 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.
Nonetheless, the Deloitte report still lists Eastern Gold Jade on the list of “20 fastest-growing luxury goods companies” despite its sales drop of 25.6 percent in FY2016.
Overall, the Deloitte report is highly positive about the outlook for the global luxury market. The significant role that China has played to this market is also expected to continue and rise further, not only due to the huge purchasing power demonstrated by the Chinese consumers, but also the country’s growing leadership in the supply chain, technological innovation and international investment in the luxury retailing area, according to the report.