While jewellers claim to have clocked a 15-20 per cent surge in sales on Dhanteras today, a significant part of their volumes have come from orders made in advance for delivery on the festival day.
“After many years, consumers have been seen purchasing gold and diamond ornaments. This means they have been placing orders in advance in order to take delivery on auspicipus days like dhanteras. Jewellers also need to have some time to make customised ornaments as per order. While fresh orders are good for diamond and lightweight jewellery bought mainly for gifting, advance bookings for delivery on Dhanteras day are adding to gold sale volumes this year,” said Rajiv Popley, Director, Popley & Sons.
Jewellery retailers have witnessed a sharp turnaround in consumer behaviour the past five days. Just a few months ago, in July and August, sentiment was negative due to the sharp increase in gold prices. Consumers had postponed their orders the past several months due to increase in gold import duty from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent, prohibitive prices, economic slowdown, rural farm distress and stressed trade relations with some countries resulting into overall uncertainty.
Despite the correction that followed after the metal hit a lifetime high of Rs 40,000 per 10 grams, standard gold has offered 21 per cent returns the past one year, and was trading at Rs 38,570 in the physical market today. At Rs 46,775 a kg, silver also brought cheer to buyers, delivering a 20 per cent return in one year.
“The sharp rise in the price of gold and the deep discount in the bullion market impacted trade and consumer outlook in the third quarter. However, Dhanteras seems to have changed all this, as had been expected. A good monsoon and softening of prices, coupled with attractive offers by retailers in an effort to down stock, have boosted overall buying sentiment. Footfalls are reported to be better compared with the start of the season,” said Somasundaram P R, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.
Most jewellers, meanwhile, have seen a sharp increase in lightweight gold jewellery for gifting and diamond ornaments for wedding and self-consumption. Consumers have turned out in large number to make the most of the massive discounts and freebies in gold and diamond jewellery.
What's more, the phenomenal growth in the physical gold and jewellery sales has percolated to digital market as well.
“Our digital gold sales this Dhanteras are twice the volumes we achieved on the same day last year. We expect sales to increase even faster," said Sachin Kothari, Director, Augmont, an early-stage digital and physical gold company.
MMTC-PAMPS, which supplies gold to three or four platforms selling digital gold, said its sales are expected to be 6-7 times higher today than normal day sales, and about five times last year's Dhanteras.
Said Aditya Pethe, Director, WHP Jewellers: “Festivals are important occasions to increase sales even if pre-festive build-up isn’t that noticeable. We also have to see online sales which have been good this time."