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‘Modern designs in lightweight pieces are the way ahead’

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD3JskaCgqc&feature=youtu.be

Raghava Rastogi of Jugal Kishore Jewellers says that one should not try new products just for the sake of it. There should be innovation and a plan to keep us alive in another possible difficult time like that of the lockdown

What are your views on the new format of IIJS?

Virtual is the new real because of Covid. This gives us the opportunity and flexibility to do more work in a shorter time. The pandemic has hit everybody equally, be it a manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler or a consumer. So, we should appreciate the efforts of GJEPC to organise a virtual exhibition and in the end, it is the industry that must make this platform successful. Participation on both sides of the spectrum will decide how the IIJS Virtual will go. With a virtual platform, you can do things at your leisure from anywhere. So, it will increase efficiency.

What are the categories or trends you expect to see at IIJS Virtual this time?

From September, the markets have gradually picked up. As a retailer, you must stock up on new things to hold consumers. It is up to us to merchandise wisely. We must use our capital very judiciously. We should not try new products just for the sake of it. Innovation is necessary. Many of our vendors are innovating with designs; they are making modern jewellery that are lightweight. Gold is still in the front row. I would like to see a lot of innovation in lightweight jewellery across the spectrum. It could be a necklace, pendant sets, chains, bracelets, kangans, and others. Every product should be according to the size of the store because it is only with new things that you attract customers, otherwise, they would want to shift because IIJS is going virtual. A lot of retailers are also going virtual, so customers also have the option of sitting at home and shopping. They can look at many stores on their IPads in a matter of an hour. If they don’t find your designs enticing, they won’t stay. Due to hallmarking, the customers know that quality is the same everywhere and it’s just the designs that makes an impact.

Do you think HD images from manufacturers will help retailers to promote jewellery on their virtual platform?

Yes, it will benefit the retailers, because in digital, photographs are the first bottleneck. If you have fantastic photos, I would want to be associated with you because it saves me time. Right now, there is a race on social media, and to win, you have to be ready with everything.

What will be the percentage of e-commerce in overall business by 2025?

E-commerce is here to stay and its penetration in the jewellery business will be small, limited to small-ticket items. I mostly use e-commerce for advertising and branding. It helps us connect with old clients who may no longer be in the same city. But now, you have to be present all over the internet to grab eyeballs. So, wherever the consumer is, we must also be there or someone else will take our place. We have more than 100 e-commerce websites for jewellery alone. This is going to be the way forward, but you can’t do away with touch and feel in jewellery.

What is your advice for retailers and manufacturers for the next 6 months?

The demand is starting to build because of Navratri. Keep your stocks replenished. So, if the store demands a particular kind of jewellery, manufacturers should focus more on stocking them, along with the new products. It is important to rotate the inventory and capital, which will help us sustain. We must keep in mind that Covid is here but we still have to work. So, I would tell people not to focus on overtrading or spending their working capital. We should save part of our working capital to battle unforeseen conditions because the lockdown has shaken everyone. It can happen again, so we should make provisions for such a time. Looking at the consumption, you should stock 10-15% more as compared to pre-Covid times. This is my alternative going forward.

 

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

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