The 734-square-foot Beijing store is located at Shin Kong Place. De Beers has retail stores in major cities including New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
“The success of De Beers in Asia has led to the major step of opening our first store in Mainland China,” said Francois Delage, chief executive of De Beers Diamond Jewelers. “De Beers is achieving strong growth in Asia, and China is an important and exciting market for us.”
Chinese consumers are more than ready for bling.
Diamond sales in China rose 17% in 2009 to $1.5 billion, according to Forbes, making China the world’s second largest diamond market after the US.
Jade and gold, which the Chinese often give as gifts, have been highly valued for thousands of years and an integral part of the cultural heritage. But aggressive marketing efforts by De Beers in the 1990’s have put diamond on the list of coveted jewelry.
Couple that with an exploding wedding industry worth about $82.5 billion a year or 2.5% of GDP and a growing number of wealthy single women in urban hubs who can afford to buy bling for themselves, the market for diamonds is sparkling!
“Self-rewarding is becoming more and more popular, especially in metro cities,” Phyllis Woo of market research firm Synovate told Forbes, “In the past there seemed to [be] a stronger belief that a diamond should be gifted by men, rather than purchased by women themselves.”
But don’t assume that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, as De Beers has told the world for decades. In China, diamonds are becoming a hit with men as well. Men are buying diamond for wedding bands or just to adorn themselves.
In China where status is still the rage, the Chinese has come to believe that sporting a rock is a universally recognizable sign of success.
photo credit: de beers diamond jewelers