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Jewellers see subdued demand on Akshaya Tritiya with digital sale only option

Retail Jeweller India



With Akshaya Tritiya just around the corner, jewellers are trying to lure customers through various innovative offers to keep the business tide through difficult times amid the coronavirus lockdown.

“In April, the loss in revenue will be 15 per cent of the total annual turnover due to Akshaya Tritiya falling in the month when the country is under lockdown to prevent the spread of covid-19,” All India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman Anantha Padmanaban told PTI here.

The first six months of this calendar year has witnessed a very weak consumer sentiment due to high gold price and the Covid-19 pandemic; however, the demand is expected to begin taking off from July onwards and peak during Diwali, he added.

“Due to the covid-19 pandemic, stores across the country are closed; however, on individual level, jewellers are reaching out to their customers through innovative online offers, including booking now and payment and delivery later among others. How far the consumers are going to react to these innovative marketing by the jewellers is yet to be seen,” he opined.

Digital buying will grow as an alternative going forward, but the touch, feel and trying out factor at retail stores will remain as strong as before, he added.

World Gold Council Managing Director (India) Somasundaram PR said prices are high and volatile, local market prices have sharp discounts, logistics have limited physical availability of gold, artisans are perhaps dislocated and jewellery stores shut.

“In this scenario, Akshaya Tritiya will be a subdued occasion for gold… We could see jump in digital transactions not just through platforms such as SafeGold and MMTC-PAMP, but also on-line BTC (Business -to-Consumer) sales with some jewellers,” he added.

Deliveries are bound to be post-lockdown, but advance booking, buying simple, standard gold or jewellery, and a more robust digital engagement may be promoted in the market, he suggested.

Akshay tritiya is one of the biggest gold buying days due to the auspiciousness attached to it, and amid lockdown, the industry has missed out on Gudi Padwa and the wedding sales, Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers Director Aditya Pethe said.

“However, as the auspicious day approaches, we were surprised by the number of enquiries we received for pre bookings. We have started taking Akshaya Tritiya bookings online from April 21 on our ecommerce platforms. The same will be delivered to the customers post lockdown. We can’t do sales speculation due to the exceptional circumstances, but we look forward to an online Akshaya Tritiya this year,” he added.

Currently, gold prices are ruling at around 45,600 per 10 grams.

“After a strong rally in prices for the past few weeks, prices are correcting… as risk-appetite returns slowly. The major reason behind the recent rally is global growth concerns emanating from the ongoing pandemic. This apart, central governments have been providing stimulus packages and these two factors make a solid case for a bullish rally in gold prices going forward,” Commtrendz Research Director Gnanasekar Thiagarajan said.

Further, Kalyan Jewellers Chairman and Managing Director T S Kalyanaraman said traditionally, the majority of the company’s sales on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya is driven through its showrooms.

“This time, though our showrooms are closed due to the lockdown, we got many queries from regular customers who wanted to keep the tradition of buying gold during Akshaya Tritiya going. That’s how we came up with the concept of the Gold Ownership Certificate, which can be bought on our website. What makes this unique is that upon order confirmation, customers will receive this certificate via email or Whatsapp on the day of Akshaya Tritiya – that way, the time honoured tradition of owning gold on the same day, is kept alive,” he added.

The company is hopeful that this will bring some good results, and that its regular customers will be able to make their purchases, he added.

Echoing a similar view, Senco Gold and Diamonds Executive Director Suvankar Sen said the jewellery industry might get a traction of 10-20 per cent of normal sales this Akshay tritya since offline stores are shut and the economy is in a standstill.

“To make sure customers can do a token buying this season we are using an online platform to sell or get bookings for future sales,” he added.




Image Courtesy: Livemint

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