More glitter in jewelry sector seen as PH economy grows

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva November 10,2016 - 08:42 PM
Merrill Gaisano, Beneluxe chief operations manager and internal gemologist, shows one of Royal Gem’s jewelry pieces which she describes as perfect for red carpet-type events. (CDN PHOTO/VICTOR ANTHONY V. SILVA)

Merrill Gaisano, Beneluxe chief operations manager and internal gemologist, shows one of Royal Gem’s jewelry pieces which she describes as perfect for red carpet-type events. (CDN PHOTO/VICTOR ANTHONY V. SILVA)

Gaisano retail unit rebrands, eyes millennials as market continues to expand

A growing population coupled with a growing economy has created a promising environment for the jewelry market.

These developments (growing population and the growing economy) had helped nurture the Filipino’s appreciation of “the finer things,” said Beneluxe Chief Operations Manager and internal gemologist Merrill Gaisano, who expresses optimism about the future of the jewelry market.

“With social media and economic growth, our appreciation for the finer things is also getting more developed,” Gaisano told reporters at the sidelines of the Cebu launch of Royal Gem, Beneluxe’s high-end jewelry brand, on Thursday.

Beneluxe is the jewelry arm of the Metro Gaisano Group of Retail Stores, a firm that traces its roots to Cebu.

She said the Philippines is a very promising market, and the jewelry market here continues to expand.

The Philippines saw a 6.8-percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2015, driven largely by a consumer spending, among other factors.

At present, the Philippine population stands at more than 101 million.

Develop industry

The Guild of Philippine Jewellers, Inc. (GPJI) earlier called for government support to develop the industry as it sees the jewelry business having a potential to greatly contributing to the local economy.

Estimates pointed out that gold deposits in the country are the fifth largest in the world with a figure pegged at 203 million metric tons. Using current prices of $1,100 per troy ounce, this translates to around $9 trillion.

Gaisano also said that Asians in general value fine jewelry.

The company official said there is a potential market among millennials since they have access to a vast array of information through the Internet and social media.

Gaisano said, “The more knowledgeable they are, the more they appreciate things.”

Investment

She said that many Filipinos today invest in jewelry, reflected in the presence of pawnshops all over the country.

“It’s good to put your money in different types of investments. It’s good to diversify. Some buy properties, some jewelry. The thing about the latter is you can wear it,” said Gaisano.

Most customers invest in jewelry because it is easier to liquidate and encash, unlike properties, she added.

Royal Gem, known for the longest time as Metro Jewelry before the rebranding, has existed for over 30 years.

“We’re rebranding it to better communicate to our clientele and the market that we are catering specifically to empowered women and the modern Filipina,” Gaisano explained.

Royal Gem

Royal Gem has a 100-square-meter store in Metro Ayala in Cebu City, featuring diamonds, colored stones, South Sea pearls, Italian, Chinese and Saudi gold.

While they don’t have concrete plans for expansion yet, Gaisano said they hope to be present in all major malls in the country.

Beneluxe carries with it three brands, including the high-end Royal Gem, mid-range brand MyGold by Royal Gem, and the most affordable, Smythe & Co., which offers silver and stainless steel pieces priced at P200 to P1,000.

Gaisano said they have over 30 stores in Manila and Cebu.

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TAGS: business, Cebu, development, Gaisano, industry, jewelry, retai;, retail

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