New Delhi/Bengaluru/Chennai/Kolkata, May 9 (IANS) With the surge in gold prices jewellers across the country saw tepid sales throughout the day on Akshaya Tritiya on Monday.
“So far we have seen 10 percent sales growth in value terms. But in volume terms it is flattish as gold prices have shot up quite a bit in the last two months, and today it is hovering over Rs.30,000 per 10 grams in the national capital,” P.C. Jeweller managing director Balram Garg told IANS in Delhi.
He mentioned that the price of the yellow metal was around Rs.26,000 per 10 grams only two months ago. But as the price of the precious yellow metal has gone up in the international market it has shot up in India as well.
Last year on Akshaya Tritiya, the gold price was in the range of Rs.27,000 per 10 gm of 24 karat gold, while this year, it is over Rs.30,300.
“This year for a change we are seeing more sales of jewellery and not coins on Akshaya Tritiya,” Garg added.
Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindus and the Jains. It is believed to bring good luck and success and is considered an auspicious day to bring home gold.
“Indians mark Akshaya Tritiya as an occasion to purchase gold and the initial feedback from the trade is an increase in demand, where both wedding jewellery as well as investment products, like coins and bars, have done well. We believe consumer sentiment towards gold as a savings instrument remains positive and the long term fundamentals of the gold market remain intact,” said Somasundaram P.R., managing director, India, World Gold Council.
“Compared to last year Akshaya Tritiya, this year sales are down by 30-40 percent. The reason mainly seems to be election and the checking of the vehicles by the flying squads of the election commission. Sales of jewellery are high as compared to the coins,” Jayantilal Challani, president of the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association told IANS.
The Tamil Nadu assembly elections are on May 16.
Diptesh Dey, a store manager at M.P. Jewellers in Kolkata told IANS: “Buoyed by discounting offer, jewellers are experiencing around 10-15 percent growth in gold sales. But jewellers and customers both are confused with a fluctuating nature of the gold price. Customers are reluctant to revise their budget according to higher prevailing prices.”
“We have seen a steady footfall in the stores throughout the day but due to high price, buying level is relatively less.We have not noticed any extraordinary buying spree. By and large, sales are expected to touch the growth of around 20 percent what it achieved last year,” Subir Sen, B.C. Sen Jewellers told IANS in Kolkata.
“We have been witnessing a steady surge in sales during Akshaya Tritiya each year. Customer response has been remarkable over the last few days with sales peaking on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. There has been a strong shift in jewellery buying behaviour as more and more people are now exploring the online channel as a trustworthy option for fine jewellery,” online portal Bluestone.com’s chief operating officer Arvind Singhal told IANS.
Sahil Chhabira, director – operations, I Love Diamonds in Bengaluru, said the consumer sentiment in 2016 has been low owing to the mandatory PAN Card number submission for purchases beyond Rs.2 lakh.
“We are seeing that people are switching over to small ticket purchases and rushing to online portals as they get to access a wider variety unlike visiting a retail jewellery store. Our latest feature on the website ‘Pickup At Store’ has been well accepted by the audience, we have seen quite a few bookings online and the deliveries are scheduled to happen at our Trust Stores on Akshaya Tritiya,” Chhabria told IANS.