Jewellers line up discounts to entice consumers on Akshaya Tritiya

Gold demand in India is picking after slow sales in the last couple of years

Akshaya Tritiya
Representative Image

Jewellers in India are lining up discounts to entice consumers on the second-biggest gold-buying day in the Hindu calendar.

Hindus buy valuables including gold and silver on Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on Tuesday this year, in the belief that it will bring luck and prosperity. That faith coupled with discounts and an about 7 per cent drop in prices from an over five-year high in February is underpinning jewelers’ expectations for brisk sales.

Retailers like Malabar Gold & Diamonds are offering as much as 50 per cent off on jewelry-making charges, while Tata Group’s Titan Co. is giving a discount of up to 25 per cent. The charges vary from store to store and city to city and can contribute as much as 10 per cent to the total cost of an ornament. Others are giving freebies such as Kerala-based Kalyan Jewellers, which said it is giving away gold coins for free to some customers.

“Lower prices are expected to be a key trigger in pushing sales on a higher trajectory,” Ahammed MP, chairman of Malabar Gold & Diamonds, said in a statement. “There are reports of robust pre-Akshaya Tritiya sales in the markets. A higher sales volume is expected as compared with last year and in percentage terms, we can expect sales growth of around 15-20 per cent.”

Gold demand in India is picking after slow sales in the last couple of years as higher prices and government curbs to crack down on unaccounted wealth weighed on the sector. Purchases in the second-biggest gold buying nation may be boosted this quarter because of the traditional wedding season purchases, the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya festival and rising crop prices, the World Gold Council said last week.

People profiting from the equity market will also turn toward gold to diversify their portfolio, boosting demand for the precious metal, according to digital gold platform Augmont, which is offering buyers opting for home delivery of their gold purchases an equal amount of silver free during the festival. The benchmark index has gained about 7 per cent so far this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at safonso2@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Phoebe Sedgman at psedgman2@bloomberg.net, Alpana Sarma, Keith Gosman