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The Growing Network of Asian Jewellers in London
London Jewellery Retail - Analysis
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 24 2019 4:05PM
Reference: 22557  

Market size and characteristics
Based on the 2016 census, UK has a population of 65 million and a per capita GDP of 28,448 pounds. Retail is the largest private sector employer in UK and employs 3 million people. According to Mintel, a London based privately owned market research agency, United Kingdom’s jewellery market is estimated to be around 4.5 billion pounds per annum. Adam Smith the Scottish Economist famously known as the father of capitalism was the first one to describe United Kingdom as the ‘Nation of Shopkeepers’ in his book Wealth of Nations published way back in 1776. He had said that the Government of Britain was exceptional because it was “influenced by shopkeepers”, by which he meant small and medium- sized traders and businesses.

The UK economy differs today from the rest of the developed world. The entrepreneurship spirit still runs strong. In 2018, there were 5.7 million businesses in the UK, of which 95 per cent were small ones. 65 per cent of UK’s retail sales are contributed by independents and the jewellery sector is no different. It is dominated by independent family run businesses. While there are some large multiple chains, such as H Samuel, Ernest Jones, Beaverbrooks, Fraser Hart, Goldsmiths and F Hinds, which have a presence in many shopping centres and larger town centres, the family jeweller is commonplace and remains one of the last bastions of true independent retailing to be found on Britain’s high streets.

Consumer preference for buying fine jewellery in the UK

  • 29 per cent of the consumers prefer to buy jewellery from chain stores such as H Samuels. Their preferred destination for fashion jewellery is Argos chain store with a store count of over 883 doors.
  • 22 per cent from Independents.
  • 12 per cent from premium store chains & departmental stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols & Selfridges.
E commerce: According to Euromonitor International, the UK is at the forefront of digital retailing among Western markets. Relative to countries such as the US, France and Germany, the UK sees e-commerce capture a greater share of sales. Mobile commerce accounts for a larger proportion of e-commerce. Services such as click-and-collect are more developed in the UK.

Online sale as per cent of total retail sale in UK is 20 per cent and is the highest in the world. France is 17.4 per cent & U.S. is 16.4 per cent.
UK jewellery sales via the online channel continue to be driven by demi-fine and costume jewellery brands rather than fine jewellery players due to the enduring perceived risk associated with purchasing big-ticket items online. The vast majority of UK jewellery sales still take place offline, with jewellery and watch specialists alone accounting for two thirds of all fine jewellery value sales and a third of costume jewellery value sales (Source: Euromonitor).

India’s jewellery trade with UK
India exported U.S. $ 108.60 million worth of cut and polished diamonds to UK during the year 2018 – 2019. The corresponding figure for the export of plain and studded gold jewellery was US $ 233.20 million (Source: GJEPC). While the export of rough and polished diamonds increased by 5 per cent over the previous year, the export of plain and studded gold jewellery fell by a whopping 50.65 per cent.

Wembley is another area that has a high population of Asians and is dominated by persons having roots in the state of Gujarat. The largest concentrations of British Bangladeshis live in east London boroughs. They form one of the UK’s largest groups of people of overseas descent and are also one of the country’s youngest and fastest growing communities. Green Street in East London has emerged as a major market for Asian consumers.

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