Poland gets jewellery worth over 1 billion PLN annually. Polish markets are an attractive destination for western producers, and Italy is promoting them.
In Warsaw, the presentation of several dozen Italian jewellery brands will begin on Wednesday, with the aim of reaching customers in our country. According to data introduced by the Trade Promotion Section of the Italian Embassy, in 2016 the import of jewellery to Poland exceeded 264 million euros and increased by 18.7 per cent per year.
The largest share is for Chinese products but it is already on a declining trend. China’s share is now 24 per cent, yet in 2012 it was 32 per cent. The second position is held by Italy, and import from Italy accounts for about 16-17 per cent. In 2016 its value increased by 14.7 per cent to 43.7 million euros.
“Despite growing competition in the world, our manufacturers still maintain one of the leading positions among jewellers. Italians are the fifth jewellery producer in the world,” says Antonino Maffodda, Director of the Italian Agency for the Promotion and Internationalisation of Italian Enterprises, the Trade Promotion Section of the Italian Embassy, which organises the Italian Jewellery in Warsaw. It is attended by 45 Italian jewellery companies.
“Original style and high quality are hallmark of the products. These are values appreciated by Polish customers, so we can see an increasing interest of our companies in the Polish market,” adds Maffodda.
Italy is one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of jewellery in the world. In 2016, Italy sold jewellery worth 6.4 billion euros. This result was reached owing to nearly 25 thousand jewellery makers, who engage 80 thousand employees. Almost 75 per cent of production is exported.
Italians see an attractive market in Poland. The value of jewellery sales on our market will reach nearly 3 billion PLN this year. Although the statistical consumer spends several times less on similar products than Germany, France or the UK per year, the market is steadily growing. What manufacturers are most happy about is that growth is spotted not just at the cheap economy segment, but also at the category of premium, and especially luxury products.
„The Italians have enjoyed the reputation of jewellery experts and most talented craftsmen for years. This is a market from which many well-known jewellery brands originate. There are several highly-esteemed Italian brands in our offer,” says Radoslaw Jakociuk, President of W. Kruk. The company claims to be the official representative of Damiani brand, one of the top ten global jewellery brands. There are also other brands: Nanis, Recarlo and Alfieri & St. John, which are offered in W.Kruk Rolex boutiques.
„Italy is not only the home of some of the most impressive jewellery brands, but also the production base of the global jewellery market. Llocal factories produce jewellery and accessories for the most prominent fashion houses, and implement jewellers’ orders from numerous countries,” says Radoslaw Jakociuk. “Local jewellers specialise in small jewellery. They prefer large forms and no stones. The Italians are definitely leading in the production of chains, which are not only an independent jewellery product, but also a component favoured among companies from all over the world,” he adds.
Similarly to other large jewellery chains, W.Kruk owns a factory producing jewellery as well.
Return of amber
“Until a couple of years ago, Italy was a crucial import centre. And today, we still import some of the jewellery from this country. However, this is a small percentage. An increasing number of jewellery products available in our showrooms is our own projects and works,” says Joanna Pustkowska, Director of Retail Sales Department at the network of Yes shops. “Rapid development of the Design Office, and thus our own collections, has led to a significant decline in the import of jewellery from other countries.
The production of jewellery in the country is growing, as well as its export. It is still lower than import, but in 2016 the products worth 131.9 million euros were shipped overseas, i.e. by 27.1 per cent more than the previous year.
The main trade direction of this category (out of 31.6 per cent) is Germany, while the second place belongs to the Italian market. Organisers of the presentation of Italian companies in Poland also note that local companies often obtain products in Poland, especially silver and amber. This gem is our world specialty, and now it is on top again.
Amber, which several years ago was mainly purchased in the US and Western Europe, now conquers the Middle East and Asia. The Chinese, however, prefer it in golden, not silver setting.
Does brand or production place matter in the case of such products as jewellery?
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Jewellery from a large chain
Jewellers in a rather poor condition
Although jewellery sales are growing, the market is centred upon three largest chains: Apart, W.Kruk and Yes. These companies control over 50 per cent of the market and systematically strengthen their position. The overall condition of the market is not as good as one might have expected. According to data reported by Bisnode information agency, the condition of over 90 per cent of manufacturers and retailers of jewellery can be described as poor. This is directly leading to shrinking of the market. Every year the number of companies decreases by 2-3 per cent. It is estimated that at the end of 2016 less than 3.9 thousand of jewellery makers were operating on the Polish market. Consequently, jewellery trade segment is decreasing as well. During the last four years, nearly 300 jewellery shops have left the Polish market. According to BIG InfoMonitor, the proportion of companies with arrears in current accounts, dues to contractors or creditors, both among manufacturers and jewellers, is approximate – 3.7% and 3.6% respectively. The company explains that it is slightly less than the average at the entire commercial sector, which equals to 4 per cent.
Pawel Jaworski, President of Michelson Diamonds
The Polish jewellery market still prevails owing to low prices, which significantly limits its development to certain segments. As regards the domestic production, silverware is dominating, especially chains which are actually fairly cheap, but are lower quality and poorer design if compared, e.g. to Italian products. In turn, Poles buy golden jewellery rather for special occasions, but in its production Polish companies have reached a very high level. In the case of engagement rings the average price usually amounts up to a maximum of 2,500 PLN, although much larger transactions occur as well. In Poland, jewellery production is growing, but in our country, manufacturers are only learning many techniques. The market of silver products combined with amber is noteworthy too. This is our main export sector at the moment.
Data source: ITA, BISNODE POLSKA, EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL