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Kataria Jewellers from Ratlam, growing from a 300 sq. ft. store to 12400 sq. ft. showing their grand design choice and grander hospitality, taking the idea of experiential retail to a new level.

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In 2000, Constrained by capital, Kataria Jewellers redefined the rules by successfully retailing from a small 300 sq. ft. store, unfavourably located on the first floor of the Sarafa Bazar in the early 2000s. Built on the philosophy of the highest quality at the lowest making charge, the brand’s growing base of majorly out-of-city customers encouraged the brand’s retail transformation.

In 2023, The new 12400 sq. ft. store offers a grand design choice and grander hospitality, taking the idea of experiential retail to a new level. Besides a spread of 12000 designs, the retail premise has provisioned a luxurious boarding facility for those coming from afar and free meals from 12 – 6 pm for anyone visiting the store.

“The overarching idea is to give an ample choice, service and facilities so that the customer does not need to explore competition”

Harsh Kataria, Director, Kataria Jewellers

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Unlike most legacy businesses in the jewellery industry that take pride in serving multi-generations, Kataria Jewellers’ journey and meteoric rise to the top started only 2 decades ago.

The brand has built a solid foundation of 35,000 regular customers in this short span. More interestingly, only a fraction of these are from the local city of Ratlam, where Kataria’s family jewellery business was established for more than 6 generations. “Only 1500 odd customers are from Ratlam. The remaining are from cities as far as Jalgaon, Vadodara, Dahod, Limdi, Godra, Ahmedabad, Chittaur, Udaipur, Sagwada, and Baswada,” says Harsh Kataria, owner of Kataria Jewellers.

The reputation built on Kataria Jewellers’ transparent business practices attracted customers from far and wide. “We have always worked on the highest purity at very reasonable rates. Ours is a volume business,” he says.

By focusing on volume-based sales rather than hefty margins per piece, they can offer the lowest gold-making charges in the region. “It ensures that customers can save considerably, even after accounting for travel and accommodation costs,” says Kataria.

This unique dynamic is what Kataria makes a point to explain to every customer travelling from outside the city boundaries for the first time. He believes it is important to reassure the customers that their travel to the city is well worth the effort. Besides offering a wide selection, the customer is explained how the rates are competitive (read lowest), purity guaranteed, and the owners are personally available to fulfil all after-sales commitments in the coming decades.

“As we continued to deliver on our promises, word spread, and we gradually built this large base of customers from outside the city,” he says. This unique approach has garnered immense popularity among customers seeking value for their investments.

As the business grew, Kataria Jewellers recognised the need to serve their valued customers better. He says, “Our first store, established in 2000-, is located in the busy lanes of the Sarafa Bazar. This store’s limited floor plate hindered the overall shopping experience.”

Addressing these concerns, they undertook the monumental task of opening a new and sprawling store of 12400 sq. ft., which afforded them a staggering increase in inventory- 4 times the capacity at the old store. The new store houses 12000 jewellery pieces.

During the initial years, Kataria Jewellers primarily dealt with gold jewellery. The new store, however, showcases the entire spectrum of categories, designs and price points. While their main focus remains gold jewellery, they have expanded their offerings to include diamond, polki, antique gold, and 18Kt gold. The new store also stocks silver gifting articles and jewellery. “We stock pieces from 5k to 1.5 cr,” Kataria informs.

The new store launch has witnessed a remarkable surge in customer flow. Previously serving around 150 customers daily, Kataria Jewellers now attracts approximately 220 customers daily. He says about the immediate impact, “We have marked an impressive increase of 50-60% in terms of footfalls. Most of our old customers are coming to explore the new store. But we also connect with 2-3 new families daily.”

For customers, the grand design choice comes with grander hospitality. “Our out-of-city customers had to stay in hotels or rush back the same day. Customers had ample issues regarding parking, store capacity and inventory etc. We have solved those problems so that hundreds of customers can shop leisurely,” says Kataria.

Acutely attentive to the needs of a large customer base from nearby towns, the brand has built a separate unit in the same premise, creating a hotel-like set-up. The building has four dedicated rooms for customers and three dormitories for people wishing to stay overnight and depart early in the morning.

The new store is only 2kms away from the main market where the old store is still operational. “The overarching idea is to give ample choice, service and facilities so that the customer does not need to go to the main jewellery market to explore competition,” explains Kataria.

The store also serves customers complimentary meals from 12 pm to 6 pm. These experiences are gaining rave reviews from satisfied customers, further bolstering Kataria Jewellers’ reputation and driving a high conversion rate. In an era dominated by aggressive marketing campaigns, Kataria Jewellers has thus far relied on word-of-mouth publicity.

However, now the brand is eyeing a bigger share of the high-end market by taking aggressive measures in marketing. Kataria Jewellers’ recently collaborated with Mercedes-Benz to showcase their latest range of cars at its premises.

In addition to the out-of-city customers, Kataria Jewellers is cognizant of Ratlam’s immense potential. “Unlike larger cities where the younger generation spends small amounts on jewellery for gifting or personal use, Ratlam’s young generation, actively involved in business ventures, showcases a higher ticket size ranging from 1-1.5 lakhs,” he says.

This distinct customer profile presents a significant advantage for Kataria Jewellers, as the new store – the largest in size and choice is now poised to cater to a clientele with an even higher purchasing power.

Kataria Jewellers envisions a promising future marked by growth, anticipating an impressive increase of approximately 25% in their customer base in the coming year.

Soma Bhatta with inputs from Maithili Patange

The Retail Jeweller Magazine

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