TSL (Tse Sui Luen) is one of the biggest jewelry retailers in Hong Kong, and it has been so for over 50 years. TSL specializes in diamond jewelry, and manufactures, retails, and exports its designs.
We met Annie Yau Tse, Chairman and CEO of TSL (Tse Sui Luen) at the Retail Congress Asia Pacific 2017, where she joined a panel about luxury, and we asked her to share her views on the evolution of jewelry, and diamond industry in Hong Kong over the last twenty years.
Annie Yau Tse took over the jewelry empire in 2008, and since then has been working on the integration of technology in the company.
RiA : During the panel, you focused on diamonds. How the diamond consumers have changed in Hong Kong over the years?
Annie : Back in 1995, when I moved back to Hong Kong from the U.S., people were crazy about diamonds. They would line up for hours to have access to diamonds.
Especially in Christmas time, diamonds were the best sellers.
Nowadays, after twenty years, taste has changed, the market is saturated with premium goods, which offer an alternative to diamonds. People used to give diamonds to their loved ones, now they give other things like smartphones.
However, diamond sellers have found a way to cope with the competition coming from more accessible goods. Diamonds still means love forever, and this will not change, so people will still choose it as a symbol of their love.
RiA : Is it a urban legend, or do women buy diamonds themselves nowadays?
Annie : It is true. It is a cultural change, but also an economic one. More women have the purchase power to afford diamonds and reward themselves. I buy diamonds myself.
RiA : What is the secret to attract millennials? Do you believe jewelry in traditional sense will remain relevant, or is it inevitably shifting towards fashion accessories?
Annie : A diamond is forever and it is for an everlasting love. It will not change.
Millennials will buy diamonds, especially when we make them more affordable. Fashion accessories are more affordable and follow trends. Diamonds should do the same.
SEE ALSO : Diamonds are China millennials’ best friend
Craftsmanship provides solutions. We can make smaller diamonds looks bigger utilising stunning craftsmanship, and we can make them more brilliant and shiny with particular techniques.
Diamonds are for every day. This is millennials’ idea of jewelry. They want to match diamonds with different outfits. They want to be able to blend the extraordinary with ordinary.
RiA : How TSL is doing that?
Annie : TSL is strong in craftsmanship and design and we use it to make diamonds fashionable and affordable. TSL promotes an affordable indulgence.