France’s luxury watches and jewelry market to slow down in 2012 and 2013

After a very successful year in 2011, the French luxury watches and jewelery market is expected a slower second half of 2012 and a similar trend for 2013, mainly due to the European debit crisis, according to a study recently published by Xerfi. This negative trend comes even if sales have been partially offset by price increases linked to the soaring price of gold.

The turnover of watch distributors is expected to grow 6% in value in 2012, after rising 10% in 2011, and drop by up to 1.5% in 2013, according to the research firm. According to the report, starting with the second half of 2012, wealthy individuals will postpone their purchases of gold or items made of gold, because of pressure on their purchasing power.

Piaget boutique, Paris

Larger jewellery retailers, whether independent or part of an international chain can still rely on their purchasing power to negotiate their supply and thus maintain competitive prices, while, by contrast, smaller jewelers  will “continue to suffer from limited stocks and competitive jewelers within large malls (21% of sales in 2011)”. Finally, with a market share currently limited to 4-5%, fashion jewelry  could bethe first beneficiaries of the postponement of consumption French.

As for online sales, the study highlights the dominance of “established players” - e-tailers which do not rely on a network of physical stores thus are able to meet “the growing expectations of customers in terms of exclusivity and personalization by offering them + + customize their piece of jewelry or watch “.

adapted from AFP