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Akshaya Tritiya 2024: Demand stayed high regardless of price rise

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Jewellers from across the country claim that sales and footfalls have increased as customers throng to reap the benefits of price appreciation of gold

Mumbai: The industry had anticipated a promising turnout nationwide. The Retail Jeweller has interacted with retailers from all major domestic markets to understand the reasons behind 2024 giving one of the best Akshaya Tritiyas so far.

Robust pre-bookings sustain business

Sachin Jain, Regional CEO, India, World Gold Council, had stated that any short-term softening of gold prices could see record gold demand this Akshaya Tritiya. “Anecdotal feedback from jewellery retailers do indicate robust pre-bookings for the festival. The price appreciation has further strengthened the demand for gold as an investment asset, resulting in increased consumer interest in Gold ETFs,” he added.

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Members of the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council had predicted a volume-wise slump of 5-10% due to a sudden price rise. Still, consumers’ confidence multiplied as they saw a 25% increase in gold prices from Akshaya Tritiya in 2023. Saiyam Mehra, Chairman of All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), said that consumers in the South Indian jewellery stores lined up to purchase gold amid expectations of a further rise in prices, despite a surge by Rs 600-700 per 10 grams on May 10.

Millennials gunned for lightweight jewellery, while more mature customers bought heavy wedding sets as bullion purchases from 1gm to 1kg soared. “South Indian markets account for 30-40% of jewellery sales, while east, west and north contribute 20% each. Consumers have been booking jewellery in advance for the last 10 days. We estimate 20-22 tonnes of gold delivered in just one day of Akshaya Tritiya this year,” Mehra maintained.

Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director, PNG Jewellers, Maharashtra, maintained that high gold prices have not been a deterrent, as seen during Gudi Padwa. There was a steady increase in footfalls since morning, and Friday, a working day, led office-goers to go to the store on weekends to pick up pre-ordered purchases or make new purchases. “Demand for heavy jewellery, bullion and coins remained strong. Diamond jewellery is doing very well, too. Overall, this year’s Akshay Tritiya sales were in line with industry expectations.”

In Odisha, sales for Khimji Jewellers commenced on May 1 and will continue until the end of the month. There was an anticipation of a 10-14% sales increase in value compared to last year. Similar heightened interest in diamond jewellery was noticeable with a significant rise in foot traffic across their 8 stores throughout the state. “Those who invested in gold last year have seen returns of up to 20-25%, and historically, gold has proven to be a solid investment. Since Friday morning, all our stores have experienced steady footfall,” said Mitesh Khimji, Director, Khimji Jewellers, Odisha.

It’s ‘Elections versus Gold’ in Central India

Certain regions in central India faced a slump due to ongoing elections, while the lure of gold managed to pull in footfalls in other markets.  “This year, foot traffic dwindled to 100-150 due to our area’s Model Code of Conduct. Additionally, soaring gold prices deterred purchases, with customers opting mainly for lightweight jewellery,” said Harsh Kataria, Director, Kataria Jewellers, Ratlam

On the other hand, customers in Gwalior rushed to buy jewellery only because of the unparalleled appreciation rate of gold compared to any commodities or sector. “We got a two-digit growth of 24% YOY on this auspicious day,” said Mohit Soni, Business Head, Gehna Jewellers, Gwalior-Jhansi.

According to Vedant Anand, MD, Punjabi Saraf Jewellers of Indore, Akshay Tritiya 2024 has been the best in the last couple of years, with the brand witnessing a whopping 200% increase in walk-ins. “Apart from the new sales, customers were at stores to avail themselves of the 105% exchange rate on an old gold scheme that we ran on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya. We had an excellent response in solitaire and couture jewellery,” said Anand. 

Tempered turnout in South

Telangana and Tamil Nadu had different responses to Akshaya Tritiya. Vara Prasad, Jewellery Purchase Head, CMR Legacy of Jewellery, Telangana, claimed that customers opted for lightweight and dailywear gold and silver jewellery, because Akshaya Tritiya isn’t during the wedding season of the state. “Gold prices have increased by almost 25%, which has somewhat reduced wedding purchases on this occasion. Earlier, customers tended to prefer wedding jewellery on this auspicious day. Comparatively, footfall and business were 30% less than what we witnessed in 2023,” Prasad said.

AVR Siddhanth, Director, AVR Swarna Mahal Jewellery, Tamil Nadu agrees that 2023 was better and that the market slowed down due to gold prices fluctuating from morning to evening. “Customers started coming to our stores at 7 a.m. today, and the foot traffic has been great. The store has been busy all day with customers. Most customers are buying lightweight jewellery, but some purchased wedding jewellery for their family or as gifts,” said Siddhanth.

Another big player in the state, Kirtilal Kalidas Jewellery, scored well with discounts of up to Rs. 12000 per karat on diamonds and Rs. 75 off per gram of gold as part of their Akshay Tritiya campaign. However, soaring gold prices veered buyers towards lightweight gold and diamond ranges. “In sales percentage, there has been a clear growth beyond 15–20%. The campaign was quite beneficial to us,” said R Raghunath, Assistant Vice President, Kirtilal Kalidas Jewellery, Tamil Nadu.

According to Sultan Mohideen, CEO, Sultan Gems & Fine Jewellery, Tamil Nadu, elections concluded before Akshaya Tritiya, leading to consistent sales. “At our store, customers typically book jewellery in the preceding month and make purchases on Akshaya Tritiya, so the purchases have continued over the past month. Customers preferred lightweight jewellery adorned with diamonds and coloured gemstones,” Mohideen maintained.

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