The Evolution of 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.
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 Recent Expansion
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