King Fook Jewellery is banking on impeccable craftsmanship, extraordinary designs, an exciting product mix and exceptional service to stand out in Hong Kong’s jewellery retail scene.
In an interview with JNA, Davie Mok, director of Business Development & Marketing at King Fook Holdings, talks about the brand’s core values, competitive strengths, and the importance of innovation and creativity in today’s fast-changing world of luxury retail.
JNA: In today’s dynamic business environment – marked by increased competition, fast-changing technologies and “empowered” consumers – how is King Fook Jewellery transforming itself into a competitive and nimble retailer?
Davie Mok: With the disruption of the market and drastic changes in the technology and communications landscape, I believe consumers are much better informed in terms of brand choices and knowledge. Accordingly, they are making smarter, well-assessed and more cautious purchase decisions. King Fook Jewellery has sharpened its competitive edge by honouring its traditions while striving for continuous innovation.
We continue to strengthen King Fook Jewellery’s brand equity of being the most reliable and trusted jeweller in Hong Kong. This positive reputation was built on a 67-year heritage of insisting on providing only best-quality products, and honest and professional services. These are the core fundamental values and the foundation of the long-established King Fook Jewellery brand.
At the same time, we are proactively introducing innovative concepts and unique designs in our product offering. Design has become an important brand distinction for King Fook Jewellery.
A good example is evident in our gold products. King Fook Jewellery has the reputation of selling the purest 999.9 gold in the market since day one. While we continue this honourable business practice, we also infuse contemporary designs into our traditional pure gold collections, making them suitable for a modern-day lifestyle and for everyday wear.
JNA: What is the primary goal of King Fook Jewellery in 2017?
Mok: There are still affluent consumers out there who are willing to spend even in the toughest economic situations. The crucial factor is that they are not merely looking at the price tag but more importantly, they are looking at the value that they derive from their spending. So, what King Fook Jewellery has been focusing on is creating greater value for money in terms of design, meticulous craftsmanship and premium-quality materials. This group of customers does not mind paying a premium as long as they know that they are getting their money’s worth in return.
JNA: Your people and corporate culture play a significant role in King Fook Jewellery’s sustained success. How do you ensure that you will have the human resources and skills required to drive business growth?
Mok: Indeed, corporate culture is important since it is the blueprint that shapes the overall brand personality and image of the company. As I have mentioned, when customers buy from us, they are not only buying a product, they are also buying our brand promise – the guarantee that we are reliable and that they are getting the best quality and best value in the market. Such consumer confidence is built upon fundamental corporate beliefs and values that are persistently reinforced through internal trainings and communications.
Since luxury jewellery and accessories retail is still very much a people’s business, personal interactions between customers and our sales staff are a vital part of the overall brand experience.
Luckily for us, most of our shop managers and sales staff have been with us for quite some time, and their professional knowledge and expertise are valuable to the company. The stability of the front line staff contributes much to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
JNA: What is your business outlook for 2017?
Mok: Looking at industry figures, the economy in 2017 seemed to have stabilised versus last year’s drastic downward adjustments. Statistics has shown that in the first four months of the year, retail sales for the luxury category has narrowed down to -1.3 percent (versus over -17 percent in 2016). For us, 2017 is the time to consolidate our resources and sharpen our competitive edge. We will continue to strengthen our unique product offering and distinguish ourselves from our competitors through quality and value-for-money propositions. For example, contemporary Chinese concept designs have become an important signature collection of King Fook Jewellery, which has been favourably received by our customers. On the other hand, we have taken measures on driving cost efficiencies to help improve our bottom line. However, there is always a time lag in the retail environment before you can expect any noticeable changes. We expect 2017 to remain a tough year with interest rates rising and still a lot of uncertainties looming in the market. I guess one must remain cautiously optimistic and continuously strive for improvements, reinventing and breaking through to stay ahead of others.
JNA: How do you decide on the international jewellery brands that you carry in your stores?
Mok: The measuring stick is always to assess whether they will add value to the customer experience. The exclusive European brands that we carry have their own uniqueness in terms of design and craftsmanship. They bring a new dimension of sophistication in jewellery appreciation for our discerning customers. For example, Annamaria Cammilli’s ability to produce 18-karat gold in seven different colours, and realistic renditions of fauna silhouettes and shapes; Palmiero’s signature gradating colour diamonds in over 20 shades; Mattia Cielo’s sculptural and metamorphic dynamism approach in jewellery designs; and Stenzhorn’s invisible setting technique are all very unique offerings.
JNA: What is the secret ingredient behind King Fook Jewellery’s business longevity and sustained success?
Mok: There is no secret formula so to speak. I think by staying true to our fundamental values and heritage on one hand while continuously striving for innovation and creativity on the other is our motto right now. I believe for a company that has survived over six decades of ups and downs and has developed a solid foundation of trust and credibility in the market, the challenge ahead is how to leverage on what we had, continue to remain vigilant for change and be bold enough to shift the paradigm whenever we can.