Platinum price fall creates opportunity – PGI chief


Platinum price fall creates opportunity – PGI chief quoted

BASEL, March 27, 2009 – The recent decline in the platinum price has created sales opportunities for traditionally strong markets such as China and Japan, and the bridal segment remains a key focus for marketing, Platinum Guild International (PGI) chief executive James Courage was quoted as saying.
“There is a correlation between the price of platinum and the sales of platinum jewellery,” Courage told The Baselworld Daily News in an interview published to coincide with Baselworld 2009.
“The strength of this varies between markets – very strong in Asia – China and Japan, where the jewellery market is important, and where, with lower prices, platinum can compete effectively at price points where it was excluded in 2008.”
Courage said that, as a result, in Japan chain sales are well up, and in China, value pricing has fed through strongly to the consumer with increased sales of all pieces over Chinese New Year and especially of commitment rings at Valentines.
James Courage
James Courage, PGI Chief Executive
He said that the effect of the downturn has been felt, but less on the bridal segment which is the core market for platinum in the West and important too in China and Japan.
“Bridal remains our focus in the West, especially in the U.S. and UK with additional campaigns in Germany, Italy and France,” Courage said.
“In Japan the focus is on bridal and a specific retirement/anniversary campaign entitled ‘Thanks Days Platinum’ with support also for jewellery.”
Courage said that in China, the focus is on both jewellery and bridal. Being the largest market and least affected by the financial crisis, China is seen to have the greatest opportunity.
“Platinum is clearly not immune from the effects of the crisis, but is helped by its exposure to bridal and its largest market being in China,” he said.