Connect with us

RJ Market Watch

Tier-II cities help diamonds get its sparkle back in India




Kolkata: Recovery in diamond sales is primarily coming from tier-II cities in India, rather that tier-I or the mega cities, says Forevermark (India) president Sachin Jain.

The leading diamond brand from De Beers Group has been experiencing a surge in demand in the tier-II cities, with sales clocking 50% to 70% of what it used to be in the pre-COVID days. The big cities, however, have registered just 40-50% recovery.

Speaking to TOI following 9th annual Forevermark Forum, organised virtually for the first time (August 18-20), Jain said: “As large-scale, big bang weddings, travel-honeymoon and other ceremonies are not possible at this hour, people have started spending money on jewellery. Consumers are coming to the stores. From May 20 to June 10, we have registered a significant revival in sales, mostly from tier-II cities. Footfall-to-sales conversion rates have gone up considerably.”

Although the retail-dependent diamond business witnessed zero sales from the second week of March to early May, the market did not take much time to get back on its feet. “Globally,” said Nancy Liu, CEO, Forevermark, “since the easing of lockdown, footfalls in the US and China have grown from 30% to 60%.”

In India, the sales of bridal jewellery have gone up considerably, added Jain. “The Covid-19 scare is not going to go soon. So, we, despite being a retail-dependent industry, have increased our online presence. Customers are consuming more data on diamond and its latest ranges on mobile handsets and other devices.”


But, according to the Forevermark (India) president, actual online sales and virtual trading of diamonds is still abysmally low at 1-2% as the customers always prefer to get the ‘touch-feel-look’ experience before taking a final call. “Thus, the whole diamond retailers’ community is trying to devise a new mode to build confidence among its buyers, either via contactless buy, sanitisation drive, video-conferencing or virtual 3D galleries during this ‘new normal’ period,” he added.

On the manufacturing end, Jain said that the government has allowed the opening of diamond units and laboratories, which are working with 30% capacity.

Despite zero business in April and May, an optimistic Jain said the big season for celebrations is yet to arrive and it wouldn’t be a bad year for the company and the overall diamond market. “Delayed Diwali and wedding season will give us more time to step manufacturing,” he reasoned.

Encouraged by the rising demand, Forevermark is launching two new design ideas. For the brand, India has been one of the fastest-growing markets and last year, the country became the number one market for the company in terms of volume, leaving behind the US and China. India contributes about 35 per cent in terms of overall volume and out of the total 2,400 Forevermark stores across the world, 25 to 30% happen to be in India. Last year, Forevermark sold between 250,000 to 260,000 diamonds in India and maintained its 30 percent year-on-year growth.


Courtesy: TOI


Continue Reading

Latest News