De Beers forecasts double digit sales growth in China
De Beers expects double digit sales growth this year in mainland China and single-digit growth in Hong Kong, reported China Daily’s Hong Kong edition. The company noted that higher incomes are prompting China’s emerging middle class to seek out luxury goods such as diamonds.
Lavin Lam, sales and marketing division business director for the De Beers Diamond Trading Company, told an April 13 press conference in Hong Kong that robust economic growth in China and India will help drive diamond jewelry growth this year. Last year, mainland Chinese retail diamond sales were up 11 percent to $1.32 billion, while Hong Kong and Taiwan saw increases of 9 percent and 6 percent respectively. Japan accounts for 71 percent of Far Eastern diamond jewelry sales, mainland China for 10 percent and Hong Kong for 6 percent. Lam said gifts, marriage and “love purchases” are the three main reasons for diamond purchases in China.
De Beers is already involved in driving sales in 20 mainland Chinese cities and intends to spend $9 million this year to open up outlets in another 17 cities, as part of its $16 million marketing spend in the “Greater China region.”