After a trying phase of the pandemic-induced lockdown, Indian markets are steadily opening up as lockdown is eased in most parts of the country. The demand for gems and jewellery is gradually rising and the upcoming festival and following wedding season does lend some semblance of hope to the jewellery market in India.
All hopes on festivals
“The demand will increase as the festival and wedding season approaches. People have started stepping out of their houses and many are buying jewellery. This is a positive sign, as it indicates near normalcy of life,” says Akshay Verma, Verma Jewellers, Himachal Pradesh. This year’s Diwali will be different. There is a lot of dilemma in the minds of retailers, as to how this Diwali would turn out. Retailers aren’t sure – but they are working to make it good for everyone.
Business owners need to devise good marketing strategies, spend well on marketing and advertising, so that they are able to attract more and more customers. “We have come up with a new campaign, it called a Golden Bond – it is a bond between the customer and Verma Jewellers. We have approached some of our customers to endorse our brand. These womenfolk are from different backgrounds and fields of work – ranging from housewives, teachers, professors, industrialists, doctors, researchers, social workers, politicians, working women, etc. all these are our longstanding clients. They will be decked up in jewellery from Verma Jewellers, with matching attire, professional makeup, and at a proper outdoor location will be photographed by professional personnel these photographs will form part of the campaign – they will be the face of Verma Jewellers,” informs Akshay. These campaigns will be put up on hoardings at prominent locations. The brand is working with 20-25 such clients.
Market sentiment difficult to gauge
The pandemic has taken a toll on the G & J business. It is a difficult scenario, at present. It is impossible to predict whether this Diwali will see a good demand. “Usually on Dhanteras people used to buy gold, but this year – one cannot predict anything confidently,” says Sanjeev Jain, Gujranwala Jewellers, Haryana. As against this, “Festival season will see a rise in demand. The following wedding season’s demand for bridal jewellery has started coming in now,” opines Vicky Badera, Panchkesari Badera Jewellers, Bangalore. Coming Dhanteras, should see some rise in demand for gold. The current market sentiment, however is difficult to gauge.
Jewellers are seriously gearing up the bridal season
As the wedding season is coming up, people are buying bridal jewellery as well. “We have already been replenishing our stocks, it’s an ongoing process. The scale of weddings has reduced and many families therefore are investing their funds into jewellery. Budgets for bridal jewellery has increased,” informs Akshay. If they do not announce a re-lockdown, surely demand for jewellery will increase. “We are getting good sales even now. Currently, we trying to improve the business and trying to breakeven – we aren’t looking at new designs for now. All I can say, is that demand is picking up and jewellery business is steadily escalating – which is a good sign. There’s demand for all items – from bridal sets, small ticket items, gold, diamond everything,” explains Arvind Kumar Katrela, JCS Jewel Creations, Chennai.
According to Nitish Malik, as many weddings are slated to take place in December and January, so the demand for bridal jewellery will surely increase. While Sanjeev Jain feels, “Demand for bridal jewellery is yet to pick up. The year has been quite challenging in terms of sales.” While Sugam Kalra of Ganpati Jewellers, Punjab explains, “There are a lot of weddings lined up in December and January too – we therefore have focused on cutting down weight of gold while retaining its purity so that more and more people can buy as much jewellery as they want. We have introduced new designs in bridal jewellery, which are getting good response.”
Affordable jewellery, a must
Jewellers see a good demand for small ticket, affordable items. “We are stocking up more small ticket items, say below Rs 1 lakh, even in gold jewellery we are keeping more stock of affordable jewellery – so that more and more customers can buy jewellery. We are looking at keeping a stock of lightweight and attractive jewellery,” explains Vikas Bansal of OPS Jewellers Pvt Ltd, Haryana.
Later, as the wedding season picks up, there will be a considerable increase in demand for bridal jewellery. “At present, there is still a shortage of karigars. As of now we haven’t thought of introducing any advertising campaign – but as demand increases will look at spending on newspaper advertisements and hoardings. First comes the inventory and next to is the price – if we offer exquisite jewellery at affordable price, customers will surely buy,” explains Vivek Agarwal, Mahalaxmi Kundan Meena Diamond Jewellers Pvt Ltd, Jaipur.
A grand exception -- “In our store, we had good sales even during the pandemic. We haven’t seen a major fall in demand. May be, there was a fall in 5 to 10 per cent from last year’s sales. In fact, we have had to restock our inventory time and again, so as keep our customers satisfied,” informs Vipin Agarwal of Musaddilal Hari KishanDas Jewellers, Ambala, Haryana.
Verdict: True, jewellers believe that the upcoming festive & bridal seasons are going to lend jewellers some respite from the pandemic-induced gloom. Jewellers across the board are attempting to make the most out of the situation by coming up with strategic campaigns