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Lightweight category tops gold jewellery demand in Tamil Nadu



All that glitters is gold, but lightweight and pocket friendly

Chennai: Call it the pandemic paradox. Sales of gold jewellery have seen a sharp increase in the last 12 months as locked down gen-next customers, unable to spend on eating out or vacation breaks, saved up to celebrate personal milestones with gold trinkets. Result: Top jewellery brands in Tamil Nadu have seen a sharp increase in the sale of lightweight jewellery, both through online as well as in-shop channels.

There has been a 40% growth in online sales of gold jewellery, and more than half of this is lightweight items, says Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director, Kalyan Jewellers. Most of these online purchases are for gifting as young working customers realise the value of gold as a quick financial aid, particularly when the pandemic has led to salary cuts. The average ticket size of lightweight jewellery, he says, now stands at Rs 25,000- Rs 30,000.

NAC Jewellers MD & CEO N Anantha Padmanaban says, “For us, the share of sales volume in the lightweight gold jewellery category has increased from 15%-20% to 25%-30% in the last one year alone.” He’s not alone.

Premium jewellery brand Tanishq is planning more than 50% of its gold jewellery range in its newly introduced Hi-Lites segment in the next 12 months. “Tanishq’s overall customer growth is up 32%, but we saw a 39% growth in new customers who typically buy gold for day-to-day wear. Our Hi-Lites products have contributed 40% of gold jewellery sales,” says Ajoy Chawla, CEO, jewellery division, Titan.

A lot of lightweight gold jewellery, say gold marketers, is bought to mark personal milestones. “As per the festive shopping index by Retailers Association of India, the jewellery sector saw an increase of 18% in 2021 compared to the previous year. The pandemic curtailed many activities such as vacations, daily travel to work and dining out that directly reflected on spending and savings. Lightweight jewellery has become a preferred choice to gift or as an investment during this time,” says Rupesh Jain, founder & CEO of jewel-tech brand Candere by Kalyan Jewellers.


This trend is boosting online jewellery sales too. Melorra, a digital first, lightweight jewellery brand, has grown its revenue by almost 200% year-on-year. “Light jewellery purchases have gone beyond birthdays and anniversaries. Daughter’s day and Karva Chauth also saw huge spikes on our platforms,” says Saroja Yeramilli, co-founder & CEO of Melorra. Chennai and Coimbatore are big markets in TN for Melorra, but it is also seeing rising demand from Kancheepuram, Erode and Salem.

Gold marketers say the lightweight jewellery trend is being boosted by urban working women in a market like Tamil Nadu where traditionally heavy gold sets are bought during weddings. “TN is no longer conservative in gold purchase and we have seen positive response for our contemporary lightweight products,” says Yeramilli. Almost 65% of the purchases on Melorra from Tamil Nadu are by women themselves rather than men buying for them. That’s higher than the national average of 50%.

A lot of these personal purchase is online. “Customers are now open to purchasing jewellery for birthdays, anniversaries and other events. The average spending on our platform has increased from Rs 21,000 in March 2020 to Rs 30,000 in 2022. They are now also more comfortable buying online following the lockdown,” says Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, CEO & founder of online jewellery brand Bluestone.com.

Courtesy: Times of India

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