This year gold touched an all time high in August just before festive season. To add to the woes of jewellers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, announced a hike of 2.5% for gold imports. All hopes of a lucrative festive season came crashing. However, in the month of October, gold prices finally began to stabilize and jewellers were looking forward to the arrival of Diwali and Dhanteras as it is typically associated with jewellery and gold purchases.
In a surprising turn of events, diamond jewellery has done extremely well this year and most jewelers are very happy with the response they have received from their clients. Ankur of HSJ Bareilly says, “We have had very good sales this Dhanteras and have seen an improvement of 30% as compared to last year. Our stores both in Lucknow as well as Bareilly have reported good response from our clients. The big buyers have helped push sales.”
North India based Punjab Jewellers made a conscious effort to spend more money on advertising and promotion to draw the crowds. Rajnish of Punjab Jewellers says, “We actually had very low expectations this year due to economic slowdown and high gold prices. So we had decided to spend more money on promotion and I think it has paid off. The sales have exceeded our expectations and we have seen 30- 40% increase as compared to last year.”
Jewellers believe that if only gold prices had been stable, then it would have increased consumer confidence and could have led to higher sales. Anantha Padmanabhan, Chairman GJC & Owner, NAC Jewellers, shares, “After 1-2 months of inactivity, the sales have been better than expected. However, we still fell short 20% of our volumes. We saw a lot of walk-ins but due to budget constraints from consumers end, cash crunch and economic slowdown, they were not converted into sales.”
Surendrapal of Neelkanth Jewellers shared, “We are very happy with Dhanteras sales this year. Diamond jewellery sales have done very well and we have also got a good response from our consumers for polki and traditional jewellery. We are hopeful for the upcoming wedding season as well.”