HK Jeweler Adopts Touchy-Feely Approach to Sales

01/12/2015 08:36

With Hong Kong suffering the worst retail downturn in more than a decade, and Chinese tourists deterred from spending by a weaker yuan and the Beijing government's crackdown on corruption and conspicuous spending, jewelry retailer Plukka wants customers to see and feel their products before committing to buying. The start-up aims to go public in Australia on Friday and launched in Hong Kong and New York last month.

"We saw that the reaction of consumers to jewelry in person was completely different to online," said creative director Joanne Ooi. "The logical evolution of that phenomenon is how you can give the consumer the opportunity to see the jewelry before they buy it." Plukka's customers choose products online and then book a 45-minute viewing at their home or office for a charge which is waived with any purchase. The company, which launched in 2011, said the proceeds of its listing in Australia will be used for a global expansion campaign. It has one physical store in Hong Kong and plans to open another in London next year. Analysts are divided on the firm's idea, with some saying it could be a game-changer for the jewelry sector while others dismissed it as a gimmick.