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About SK Jewellery Group

SK Jewellery Group is one of Singapore's best-known jewellers with a retail network of about 60 stores in the country, Malaysia, Thailand and China.It was founded in 1991 and listed on the Catalist board of the Singapore Exchange in 2015. It has certainly come a long way since setting up its first 700 sq ft goldsmith store, under the brand name Soo Kee Jewellery, in Bedok Central.

SK Jewellery Group's retail brands include Soo Kee Jewellery, which offers contemporary jewellery, SK Jewellery where products are designed to cater to a wide demographic for different occasions, and Love & Co, which focuses on bespoke bridal jewellery, particularly engagement and wedding bands.

The group also includes SK Bullion, which distributes precious metals in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and provides storage services for them.

Q: How has SK Jewellery Group evolved over the years?

A: Over the decades, we have grown together with our customers to respond to evolving preferences and emerging trends. For example, our first store carried primarily yellow gold jewellery.

In 1996, Soo Kee pioneered the launch of contemporary white gold and diamond jewellery in Singapore to complement the modern working woman's wardrobe.

We created SK Jewellery in 2003 to offer an extensive range of jewellery for a wider demographic, and Love & Co in 2007 to cater to the evergreen bridal market.

In 2012, the group pioneered 999 Pure Gold jewellery and collectables under SK Jewellery, offering yet another choice from the traditional 916 gold here.

In 2016, realising that Singapore was enhancing its position as a precious metals trading hub, we seized the market opportunity to set up the bullion business. Riding on our expertise in gold, we launched SK Bullion, a holistic bullion service provider offering precious metals trading and storage services.

We are growing and adapting constantly, and our most recent ventures have been expanding into two new markets, China and Thailand, last year to tap their huge bridal market potential.

Q: Does SK Jewellery Group have a history of partnering other firms for growth? What are some of the partnerships it has established?

A: We actively seek strategic partnerships to access new markets and customers, accelerate product development and improve our competitive positioning. However, the key lies in choosing the right partners.

We believe in creating mutually beneficial partnerships, allowing us to leverage our partners' complementary strengths, network, market knowledge and customer bases.

Evolution of SK Jewellery Group

For example, our exclusive partnership with the World Gold Council last year launched the Xifu collection in SK Jewellery showrooms here. This premier 999 Pure Gold collection targets the bridal "Si Dian Jin" market and is conceptualised to honour Chinese wedding traditions with a contemporary approach. (Si Dian Jin is a Teochew cultural tradition where the groom's parents gift the bride a set of four pieces of jewellery to welcome her into the family, symbolising a form of blessing.)

We are also the first in Asia to partner Sarine Technologies to launch the digital Sarine Light Performance diamond grading report. Foregoing printed reports, our customers can access a diamond's information through a digital link, anytime, anywhere, for high-quality 360-degree diamond images and grading information.

The group partnered De Beer's International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research in February last year to tap its expertise in polished diamond grading services. Through this retailer diamond grading partnership - the first in Asia - the proprietary Lovemarque diamond collection is marketed under our bridal specialist brand Love & Co.

To acquire new customers and strengthen our offerings, the group partnered licence holders of popular cartoon characters such as Disney Tsum Tsum and Peanuts (Snoopy) to offer exciting new collections targeting consumers of all ages, like the Snoopy Collection launched in December last year to usher in the Year of the Dog this year.

Q: Can you tell us more about Love & Co?

A: Love & Co is the leading bespoke bridal jewellery specialist in the region, crafting made- to-order engagement rings, wedding bands and other wedding jewellery, such as the signature Lovemarque and LVC Promise collections.

Through customisable design elements and personalisation services, we establish a relationship with our customers, helping them celebrate their journey of romance - from the proposal to the wedding, followed by subsequent anniversaries.

This year, we expanded into China and Thailand to tap the huge bridal market potential in these countries. Increasing disposable incomes and the growing acceptance of Western wedding customs by millennial couples in these markets, along with their huge populations, offer immense potential for Love & Co.

Q: The group has been active in the region, with recent store openings in Thailand and China. What drove its expansion plans?

A: Our expansion into China is driven by a combination of factors - the right timing, thanks to a booming wedding industry and impact of the country's one-child policy, and the right market - China is the world's fastest-growing consumer market.

SK Jewellery Group's Retail Brands

We seek to tap the huge wedding industry in China, which brings in annual revenue of US$80 billion (S$110 billion) from more than 10 million couples getting married every year.

Love & Co opened its flagship store at Hong Kong Plaza, a shopping mall located within the key luxury shopping district in Shanghai, in May this year. The mall has an affluent clientele mix - individuals with high purchasing power and discerning tastes - similar to the clientele of the second Love & Co showroom located in Century Link, also in Shanghai.

Our entry into the wedding jewellery market in Thailand is spurred by the country's burgeoning luxury goods market. Thailand's population of 68 million presents a huge and untapped growth market.

In July this year, Love & Co opened its flagship store in Central World, the largest lifestyle shopping destination in Bangkok. The group also opened another store in Bangkok's Central Plaza Rama 3 recently.

We will continue to open more Love & Co stores in the first-tier cities of China and Thailand. Q: What can we expect from SK Jewellery Group?

A: We believe that staying focused on our core business goals is the way to grow.

Our first focus is to continuously differentiate ourselves with our product offerings, business concepts and brand experiences, anticipate consumer needs, and adapt quickly to create value for our customers. We will invest resources in these efforts even as we forge ahead with our regional expansion.

The next focus is to transform the business through job redesign and digitisation. We aim to create an omni-channel shopping experience in today's digital age by developing our e- commerce business.

We will further integrate online and offline processes, streamline retail operations and automate processes with the use of technology. This will enhance our business productivity and growth.

The last focus is to develop our human capital and talent pool. As we expand overseas, we seek to recruit more talent to run regional projects, as well as develop a holistic training programme to groom staff and equip them with relevant skills.

Our expansion into new geographies will also give our staff a rich cross-fertilisation of experiences and insights. Lastly, we will continue to engage and source for potential business partners.

Analyse SK Jewellery Group and discuss how the four (4) components of holistic marketing, namely relationship marketing, integrated marketing, internal marketing and performance marketing can be implemented by SK Jewellery to grow its business.

Apply the appropriate segmentation variables that SK Jewellery has used to segment consumers in the two overseas markets of China and Thailand; and explain the market entry strategy that SK Jewellery has adopted for each of these countries; providing two (2) reasons each to support your answer.

About SK Jewellery Group

One of the most popular jewellers of Singapore, SK Jewellery Group has retail chain involving more than 60 stores spread across Thailand, China and Malaysia. The Jewellery Group has grown by identifying and recognizing the changing trends and preferences in the market. The company has evolved from its store of yellow gold jewellery to diamond and white gold jewellery (Skjewellerygroup.com, 2019). At present, the company involves a wide range of jewellery options suitable for almost every form of demographics and occasion. SK Jewellery Group has been efficient in recognizing various market opportunities, from expanding in international markets to planning for strategic partnership for offering a wide range of product offerings. One of the recent business ventures of SK Jewellery Group is to expand its operations and store presence in the regions of Thailand and China. The prime reasons behind the expansion plan of SK Jewellery Group were to respond to the opportunity of growing bridal market, huge population, rising disposable income and the increasing acceptance towards the customers of western culture weddings in Thailand and China (Skjewellerygroup.com, 2019). The expansion plan of the company in the new geographical locations will be addressed by the collaboration of experienced staff members and with the implementation of strategic business partners (Skjewellerygroup.com, 2019). The company approached the new markets in Thailand and China by differentiating the offerings through customization, creating brand experiences and predicting customer needs.

SK Jewellery Group has segmented the market of China and Thailand based on the variables such as geographic, demographic, behavioural and Psychographic segments.

The geographical location that was targeted by the company for expansion was Thailand and China. One of the main reasons for selecting these two geographical locations was the increasing population and the fastest-rising consumer market. The company SK Jewellery Group targeted the urban region in both areas (Dibb & Simkin, 2016).

SK Jewellery Group segmented the market of on the basis of the variables such as age, gender, social class, income and family life cycle (Dolnicar, Grün & Leisch, 2018). The attractiveness of the market of Thailand and China was evident by the enormous bridal market; thus, the family life cycle of newly married and married couples. The company targets both male and female both with two different objectives, targeting female for the jewellery collection for a wedding or daily use and approaching male for offering assistance regarding the various phases from proposal to anniversaries. Another reason for expanding the business presence in Thailand and China was the rising disposable income of the population. High and middle-income groups are another chosen segment variable for the company, SK Jewellery Group. The company planned for addressing the changing preferences and needs of the millennial couples between the age group of 23 to 38. The company also segmented the market based on the social class, as in both the countries; SK Jewellery Group established its presence in the luxury goods markets or malls with a distinctive group of clientele. In China, the stores are located in the shopping locality where consumer have high purchasing power with distinguishing preferences (luxury-shopping sites).

Evolution of SK Jewellery Group

The company, SK Jewellery Group, targeted the segment based on lifestyle choices and practices, including social and cultural activities. The social and cultural activities require the Jewellery for wedding season and Jewellery in the form of blessings from elders to the newlywed women. The motive of buying Jewellery for gifting in the form of blessing and for wearing pride and distinguishing statement pieces in the wedding by the bride or family members (Lasserre, 2017). The company targets the consumer groups with a luxurious lifestyle with the power of affording different style statement and the ability to express oneself or a life cycle stage with wide-ranged Jewellery.

The company, SK Jewelry Group, strategized the plan of dividing the market based on end-use, price sensitivity and benefit expectations (Venter, Wright & Dibb, 2015). The chosen segment of the company attracts the consumer groups who are affected by the price ranges of products they endorse in, selected consumer groups prefers high-priced Jewellery products or brands for special occasions or consider buying Jewellery, a high involvement purchasing decisions, therefore, the preference of high price for ensuring authenticity and uniqueness. The company also attracts the segment of consumer groups who prefers reflecting a style statement and depicting class or special occasion through well-crafted unique Jewellery pieces.  The end-users for the company are, bride and bride-to-be, wedded women and mother or sisters of the bride.

The planned distribution and execution procedure of addressing the needs of the new market targeted by the produced service or goods offerings are known as market entry strategy (Calvelli & Cannavale, 2019). The market entry strategies adopted by the SK Jewellery Group to expand the business operation and store presence in Thailand and China demonstrate its well-strategized and efficient practice of identifying and recognizing the international market opportunities. For expanding in the market of China, SK Jewellery Group adopted the market entry strategy that reflects the ability of assured success:

The business alliance strategy of a business includes the agreement amongst different forms of businesses for creating an effective impact (Collinson, 2015). The company, SK Jewellery Group, partnered with the World Gold Council, PRC diamond market, De Beer's International Institute and digital media company, Sarine Technologies for ensuring the successful expansion in the market of China. The reason for partnering with digital companies is to offer an Omni-channel presence of global or international expansion (Mohanty, 2017). The reasons behind this market strategy are, the purpose of improving the service and product offerings of the store, Love & Co. as it increased the product range of wedding Jewellery collection in the luxury market. Another reason can be the decision of responding directly to the consumer market demand of western-influenced and customizable wedding Jewellery.

The market entry strategies adopted by the company for entering Thailand markets are:

Licensing: This strategy involves taking permission from the authorities in a country to open stores in the consumer market (Collinson, 2015). The company acquired a license for its Love and Co. store brand.

Joint venture: The company established a strategic joint venture company for selling diamond and gold Jewellery items in the regions of Thailand under Love and Co. store brand name.

The reasons for selecting these market entry strategies of the company for entering in Thailand market are:

  • For attracting the existing consumer groups of the joint venture association and enabling the promotion of offered products of the new establishment of Love and Co.
  • For ensuring profitability and customer trust in Thailand with the lawful licensing and joint venture strategy

References:

Calvelli, A., & Cannavale, C. (2019). Market Entry Strategy. In Internationalizing Firms (pp. 59-110). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Collinson, S. (2015). Foreign Market Entry Analysis. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 1-1.

Dibb, S., & Simkin, L. (2016). Market segmentation and segment strategy. Marketing theory: A student text, 251-279.

Dolnicar, S., Grün, B., & Leisch, F. (2018). Market Segmentation Analysis. In Market Segmentation Analysis (pp. 11-22). Springer, Singapore.

Lasserre, P. (2017). Global strategic management. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Mohanty, S. K. (2017). Globalization, Innovation, and Marketing Philosophy: A Critical Assessment of Role of Technology in Defining New Dimensions. In Business Analytics and Cyber Security Management in Organizations(pp. 48-63). IGI Global.

Skjewellerygroup.com (2019). [Online] Retrieved from https://www.skjewellerygroup.com

Venter, P., Wright, A., & Dibb, S. (2015). Performing market segmentation: a performative perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 31(1-2), 62-83.

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