New Delhi: With gold prices reaching record highs of Rs 60,000 per 10 grams, industry experts see a 15 -20 per cent fall in volumes of gold sold during this year’s Akshaya Tritiya. While keeping a positive outlook, jewellery retailers said that they are in a wait-and-watch mode to see how the consumer sentiment and sales play out amid these high gold prices during Akshaya Tritiya.
Speaking to ETRetail, B. Muthu Venkatram, president, Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers Association said, “Last year the rate was less than this. This year, there will be same investment but the quantity of gold sold will come down. It will be 10-15 per cent less when compared to last year.”
Saiyam Mehra, chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council too shared similar expectations and said that due to high gold prices, volumes will be lower by around 15-20 per cent this Akshaya Tritiya, but sales in value will be the same as last year or higher.
Commenting on gold prices, Ajoy Chawla, CEO –jewellery division at Titan Company said, “There is significant volatility in international prices of gold which have been reflected in India too.”
Sharing that the consumer sentiment is appearing to be on the lower side for jewellery, Avnish Anand, COO and co-founder, CaratLane said that the expectations from Akshaya Tritya are not as bullish as they would have been for Dhanteras. However, the growth number will still be reasonably good, he believes.
Sharing a positive outlook, Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, founder and CEO, BlueStone said that the industry is anticipating a 20-25 per cent uplift in demand. He commented that while the high gold prices impact consumption patterns, it also reinstates consumer confidence in gold.
Chawla from Titan Company too said that despite headwinds in form of high gold prices the brand has planned for aggressive growth for Akshaya Tritiya and is positive on demand during the upcoming wedding season and financial year.
Retailers pad up with offers & discounts
To offer some relief to consumers, jewellery retailers have announced a slew of offers and deals coupled with the launch of new collections.
Suvankar Sen, MD and CEO , Senco Gold and Diamonds shared that the retailer is offering up to 50 per cent off in making charges of diamond jewellery and 12 per cent off on diamond value. While on gold jewellery, the company is offering a total of 65 per cent off on making charges.
Lightweight jewellery brand Melorra too has offered up to 50 per cent off on making charges of gold jewellery and flat 25 per cent off on diamond jewellery, shared the company’s founder and CEO, Saroja Yeramilli.
“Being a competitive market, a lot of offers have been rolled out. There have not been good sales in the last month and a half. Thus, good offers this time to attract consumers,” Mehra, from the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council commented.
Retailers including Tanishq and Bluestone have also launched old gold exchange programs, shared executives.
Light-weight jewellery retailers see uptick in demand
Over the last 2 years, lightweight, fine, and daily wear jewellery categories have been seeing an increase in demand. Sharing his thoughts, Bluestone’s CEO said, “Increasingly, the scale has been tipping towards lightweight jewellery. With the rise of fine jewellery in wardrobes rather than lockers, we’ve seen the demand for everyday jewellery surge.” He added that the uptick in gold prices also contributes to this demand.
Shyamala Ramanan, business head of 14-carat jewellery brand Mia by Tanishq said that the high gold prices will undoubtedly boost the demand for light jewellery. She shared that the brand expects to grow handsomely in double digits this Akshaya Tritiya on the back of its network expansion and availability.
Another key player in the lightweight jewellery market, Melorra expects to grow about 85 per cent this Akshaya Tritiya. The company’s 75 per cent of the portfolio is under Rs 50,000. “Amid these high prices, a brand like Melorra becomes more important. When high gold prices pinch, we as a brand benefit the most,” said Yeramilli.
Sen from Senco Gold and Diamonds however believes that the high gold prices have not directly led to the demand for lightweight jewellery. He said, “The demand in the lightweight segment has been growing since last year primarily because of an overall demand for design-led products that can be worn every day, so high gold rates do not necessarily contribute to this demand.”
As per market estimates, the lightweight or daily wear jewellery market is about 30-35 per cent of the 65 billion dollar jewellery industry.