Sales within the Dutch luxury jewellery market declined by 1% in current value terms during 2012.
The market for luxury jewellery was hit hard by the current economic slowdown affecting the Netherlands, translating into generally lower demand for these products in 2012.
While the market appeared to show signs of recuperation after 2010, new signs of economic uncertainty led to a wave of negative growth for the category beginning in late 2011.
Luxury jewellery registered a slight decline being one of the first items impacted by a contraction in demand during a recession or by a shift towards less expensive products. Men's luxury jewellery performed better due to greater marketing attention from manufacturers who see the male segment as having more potential to develop.
The wearing of luxury jewellery by Dutch men is relatively limited, but it is growing in interest as consumers in the Netherlands become more sophisticated and image conscious.
The use of luxury watches is considered a sign of elegance and style in the Netherlands rather than status. The preference for mechanical watches with a limited production run and artisanal manufacture is driving the interest in higher price ranges. Manufacturers are also trying to stimulate demand through the promotion of special editions or models targeted at specific consumers based on lifestyles such as sport men or women.
While the market contracted, consumers are demanding higher quality, design and a "story" behind the product as main elements of interest.
Store-based retailers dominate the distribution of luxury jewellery in the Netherlands. However, active in-store promotion is creating a shift from specialists towards department stores and non-store retailing. Dutch consumers are increasingly using the internet to purchase products, attracted by the fast access to information and the possibility to compare prices and obtain the best deals.
While purchasing luxury items usually requires more advice, younger consumers consider it more normal to buy these products via the internet.
For more information on the Dutch luxury jewellery market, see the latest research: Dutch Luxury Jewellery Market
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