Worldwide jewelry sales are estimated at 100 billion USD, 90% of which come from unbranded manufacturers. The French jewelry industry is recognized throughout the world for its creativity, production quality and elegance. The French jewelry market achieved a turnover of 2 billion euros in 2015, which represents a 3% drop in growth compared to 2014. However, in 2016, there was a slight recovery of +1% growth, despite watchmaking remaining in decline. There was also a 16% growth in exports between 2014 and 2015, and a 3% growth in sales between 2014 and 2015, generating 5.7 billion euros in turnover. Rings represent 46% of sales.
French jewelers do not open their doors, both for security reasons and for confidentiality towards the big brands, their biggest customers. The “Golden Triangle” is located between the first, third and ninth districts of Paris, near the Place Vendôme.
But the luxury jewelry sector was not immune to the global economic crisis. The subcontractors of the major luxury brands of Place Vendôme in Paris were the first to be affected. The figures communicated by the BJOP (The French Union of Jewelry, Gold, Stones and Pearls) are very worrying: about fifty Parisian workshops were particularly affected. Their orders have fallen by 70% and no less than 1,000 jobs have been threatened. In total, the sector includes 3,000 companies with a turnover of just under 2 billion euros and 11,000 employees.
Apart from the cyclical nature of the crisis, the relocation of production tools to Asia also poses a threat to this traditional sector. Although this trend is less about high quality jewelry, manufacturers are concerned about this direction. This is the reason why, since 2006, they have created the “Joaillerie de France” label, a real promotional tool for manufacturers, especially when exporting. It is an indisputable way to enhance and authenticate French manufacturing expertise in jewelry and to clarify the manufacturing origin. This label has been a great success since its creation, there are already more than 10 jewelers labelled at BaselWorld in 2012.
Times are tough, but France remains the jewelry stronghold in the world. Centuries of history and designer jewelry attract (preferably rich) women from all over the world. China’s economic boom and its millions of “new rich” represent a significant new customer potential for French jewelers. While attacks have caused sales to fall for a while since 2015, circumstances have also allowed the expansion of distance selling in jewelry. The major French companies on the market are Gay Frères, Mathon Paris, SFM and Dorsey. Christian Bernard, who is also a leader in the sector, was acquired by the Marcel Robbez Masson Group in 2017.
Our business reports in France and in EuropeDownload an example
Our business reports worldwideDownload an example