Akshaya Tritiya 2024: Big crowds, brisk business, unflinching enthusiasm

Indians do not really need an excuse to buy gold, but Akshaya Tritiya offers a pretty good one! Year after year, people turn out in big numbers to buy the yellow metal on this day, considered to be auspicious for buying gold, and this year was no exception. Nothing held customers back – neither the increasing summer heat, nor the rising gold prices. And in addition to the fervour for gold, buyers showed a keen interest in diamond jewellery, discovers Suneeta Kaul

Post By : IJ News Service On 13 May 2024 11:36 AM

Akshaya Tritiya 2024 saw hectic activity in jewellery stores across the length and breadth of the country, with retailers going the extra mile to woo customers. As it is, gold sales jump more than 30% on this day, considered auspicious for buying gold and starting new ventures. This year was no different, with customers thronging retail outlets to make the mandatory purchase.

Most retailers had something or the other on offer – some offered a 20% to 25% discount on making charges, spreading the offer over several days, while others threw in gift vouchers on gold purchases above a certain limit. In fact, a section of retailers offered gift vouchers even on the on the purchase diamond jewellery, as well as silver jewellery above a certain limit. Then there were those who gave gift vouchers on the first purchase, while some delivered jewellery at the doorstep within 10 minutes of the order being placed, and even gave special Akshaya Tritiya kits.

High gold prices – a factor, or not? 

With gold prices having risen more than 20% over the past 12 months, there were apprehensions that this year, footfalls might be lower, compared to the previous year. However, such was not the case. Said Dr Saurabh Gadgil, PNG Jewellers, Pune, “This year's Akshay Tritiya started on a positive note. There was a steady increase in footfalls right from the morning. The high gold prices have not been a deterrent – we witnessed that during Gudi Padwa as well. The sales numbers were already strong in the first-half, but since it was a working day, footfalls jumped in the later part of the day.

“People also came to pick up their pre-ordered purchases. The auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya this year fell on a Friday, so we are expecting increased footfalls over the weekend too. The demand for heavy jewellery, bullion and coins remains strong. Diamond jewellery is doing surprisingly well. Overall, this year's Akshay Tritiya sales will be in line with industry expectations.”

Even as retailers said the high prices of gold did not have a bearing on sales, a section of jewellers opined that the ticket size came down this year. Explained N Anantha Padmanabhan, NAC Jewellers, Chennai, “The momentum of business was pretty good for us, and for the industry. The prices of gold have risen quite a bit, and while that has never really come in the way of sales of gold jewellery, particularly on Akshaya Tritaya, the overall ticket size has come down. Another trend is that lightweight jewellery has become more popular. 

“Customers are going for more affordable jewellery, but they want the design aesthetic and appearance to be the same as of heavy jewellery, even when they are buying lightweight pieces. Regardless of the weight and ticket size, gold jewellery remains as popular as ever, and this was manifested yet again by the brisk sales of gold jewellery on Akshaya Tritaya.”

In India, gold has a logic of its own!

Gold has always defied conventional theories of demand when it comes to Indians – the more the price of gold rises, the more people buy it, treasuring it for its value, as an investment asset, and, of course, as a cultural possession. “Despite the surge in gold prices, customers are enthusiastically purchasing gold jewellery,” said Mitesh Khimji, Khimji Jewellers, Bhubaneswar, adding, “Along with gold, customers are also going for diamond, and silver items in significant numbers. For this year's Akshaya Tritiya, our sales commenced on May 1, 2024, and they will continue until the end of the month. 

“Over the past few days, there has been a noticeable rise in foot traffic at our eight stores throughout Odisha. Particularly, there is a heightened interest in diamond jewellery this year. Customers here are also opting for heavier gold jewellery, recognizing its potential for lucrative returns on investment. Those who invested in gold last year have seen returns of up to 20%-25%, and historically, gold has proven to be a solid investment. We anticipate a sales increase of 10%-14% in value this Akshaya Tritiya, compared to the previous year."

There is no consensus about the ticket size that trended on Akshaya Tritiya – it seemed to differ from region to region, and even store to store. According to Dr Pratap Madhukar Kamath, Abaran Timeless, Bangalore, “The most popular ticket size this year was the range between Rs 75,000 and Rs 2 lakh. Overall, sales were very good, with lightweight jewellery doing very well. The footfalls were excellent, and we were busy since morning across our showrooms. Every year, we see bigger and bigger crowds on this auspicious day.”

Akshay Verma of Verma Jewellers, Solan, agreed, saying the crowds this year were bigger than ever before. “We had a rocking Akshaya Tritaya,” said Verma. “This year, we tried something different – apart from doing business at our store, we also set up an exhibition in Shimla. So, sales happened from two venues, and both did fantastically well. We had sent more than 10,000 invites, and the response was truly phenomenal. Everything was selling like hot cakes -- bridal jewellery, lightweight jewellery, gold jewellery, diamond jewellery, you name it. The average ticket size was between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh,” he added.

Diamond jewellery becoming a popular choice

Several retailers reported that along with gold, diamond jewellery did very well. While the tradition has been to buy gold on Akshaya Tritaya, a new trend seems to be gaining ground. Said Amit Pratihari, De Beers Forevermark, “We observed a significant increase in customer visits on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritaya this year. Our partner retailers reported a positive outcome, especially in South India, where Akshaya Tritiya holds great cultural significance. 

“Whether it's preparations for upcoming weddings, or selecting gifts for special occasions, there is a noticeable surge in interest in diamond jewellery. We are also seeing a demand for everyday jewellery known for its minimalist design, its light weight, and ethical sourcing. Furthermore, there's a notable trend towards purchasing items that carry intrinsic value, making natural diamonds particularly desirable.”

With Akshaya Tritiya 2024 shining bright, all eyes are now on the July-September wedding season. And for the in-between months, there’s always contemporary jewellery to buy.

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