Lockdown Has Robbed The Shine Off Gudipadva

Gudi Padva was an auspicious occasion for buying gold. Retailers express their views about how the second Covid19 wave was a dampener

Post By : R Sugandha On 13 April 2021 5:36 PM

The total lockdown announcement was not made by the state government of Maharashtra, all the same retailers kept a lot of stores closed due to stringent lockdown requests by local government agencies. 

Said a Thane-based retailer on conditions of anonymity, “We see ten women crowding around a vegetable vendor – where no social distancing is observed. The vendor does not even wear a mask, because his voice needs to reach out to all the buyers at once. While in jewellery stores like ours, where daily walk-ins are barely 10-15 persons spread out over the whole day and on occasions like Gudi Padva, where a lot of Maharashtrians would have come forward to buy gold we have been asked to keep stores closed. Jewellery cannot be sold online, big brands like maybe Tanishq or their subsidiaries may be able to sell gold jewellery online but that too will be minimal during such times.” Covid has dampened the buying spirit when it comes to jewellery. “Maharashtra is shutdown. We are doing online business, people are buying pure gold. Wedding purchases are happening because of impending total lockdown. Demand is there for pure gold rings, coins etc. Investors are buying because they anticipate increase in gold prices, which had stabilized at Rs 46000 for ten grams and is now steadily rising,” explains Vastupal Ranka of Ranka Jewellers, Pune. Buying jewellery is more comfortable in real life than via any digital platform. According to Surendrapal Singh of Neelkanth Jewellers Pune, “We have had to lose all the business  which takes place on this auspicious day. Pune is known as the cultural hub of Maharashtra and people do look forward to come in to buy jewellery on such days – it is sad that the government has ordered jewellery retailers to shut shop on Gudi Padva.” 

 

On the other hand where some jewellery retailers had shut down forcefully. Says Devayani Dande of Dande jewellers, Nashik, “We are closed primarily for two reasons – one being the government enforced lockdown and also because 6-7 of our sales staff are suffering from Covid19. It would be totally wrong if were to open shop in such conditions.” Informed Ashish Pethe of Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers, “All our stores are closed due to pandemic induced lockdown.
 

Increase in 20 per cent of usual sales is expected

The situation for G & J retail sector is indeed challenging. According to Ravindranath Davanam of Davanam Jewellers Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, “Due to Ugadi we have seen an increase of about 20 per cent in footfall and sale too has increased by about the same margin. We are yet to see a real growth in demand for this quarter. Gold prices are rising and therefore only those who really need to buy gold jewellery are coming forward to buy.” Need-based buying is happening and people do wait to collect orders on this auspicious day, which marks the beginning of the Indian New Year. 

Says Pratap Kamath of Abaran Timeless Jewellery, Bengaluru, “Ugadi is more of a festival which is celebrated with a puja in the morning and a sumptuous meal with the family at noon and therefore people are expected to come out to buy gold in the second half of the day. Usually there is an increase of about 20 per cent in sale on this day, this year too we expect the same.” 

Abaran Timeless Jewellery has an offer of Rs 100 off on making charges per gram of gold jewellery. “Buyers are preferring to buy lightweight jewellery and bridal jewellery purchase is also seen. Clients are taking deliveries of jewellery they have ordered earlier on this auspicious day,” explains Pratap Kamath.

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