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Sales sluggish on Akshaya Tritiya, lightweight items preferred: Jewellers

Jewellers are expecting a nearly 10 per cent decline in sales volume on Akshaya Tritiya this year compared to last year as gold prices have zoomed around 20 per cent since last year

gold jewellery

Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar

Press Trust of India Mumbai
Sales of jewellery and gold items remained sluggish on the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya day on Saturday despite heavy footfalls at stores as high prices of the precious metal dampened the festive demand, according to jewellers.
Jewellers are expecting a nearly 10 per cent decline in sales volume on Akshaya Tritiya this year compared to last year as gold prices have zoomed around 20 per cent since last year and customers are either making token purchases or going for lightweight jewellery. Akshaya Tritiya day is considered auspicious for buying gold, jewellery and valuables.
However, as the auspicious occasion is spread over two days this year, jewellers are hopeful that sales will revive on Sunday.
There have been steady footfalls since morning in jewellery retail stores, however, consumers are mainly going in for lightweight jewellery or 1-2 grams of gold coins as a token purchase to celebrate the festive occasion, jewellers said.
"We have been getting positive responses on consumer footfalls this year. In fact, reports from the southern region have been encouraging and people are mostly going in for light-weight jewellery items ranging from 2-8 grams. Hallmarking has also been a positive boost to sales," All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) chairman Sayam Mehra told PTI.
However, due to the high gold prices, there is likely to be a decline in sales of about 5-7 per cent in terms of volume from last year, he added.
Gold prices (24K) on Saturday were ruling 60,800 per 10 grams or Rs 61,500 per 10 grams including GST, compared to Rs 50,800 per 10 grams last year.
World Gold Council Managing Director, India, Somasundaram PR said footfalls have been very good and token purchases happened true to the spirit of the festivity though high prices continue to act as a dampener for volumes.
"Footfalls are very good and token purchases happen true to the spirit of the festivity though high prices continue to act as a dampener for volumes. There are pockets which are reporting a surge in sales as the wedding season looms. Some jewellers feel consumers are slowly awakening to the potential for further price rise," he noted.
Kolkata-based Senco Gold and Diamonds MD and CEO Suvankar Sen said this year Akshaya Tritiya is spread over two days starting Saturday and the upcoming summer wedding season is the reason behind being hopeful for good sales during this period for jewellers.
"While high gold prices and recent heat waves in a few states have impacted the customers' footfalls during the day time, we are witnessing an increase in footfalls in the evening. Also for a change this year we have witnessed good traffic at our e-commerce and digital gold platform," he said.
High gold prices have customers going for affordable 'wedding jewellery' and lightweight everyday wear jewellery, he said.
"Reviewing the sales since morning and the projection for two days, we are expecting 7-10 per cent growth in value terms compared to last year and a 10 per cent decline in terms of volume. As tomorrow is the second day of Akshaya Tritiya which is Sunday, we are hopeful for more footfalls at our 137 nationwide showrooms and better sales growth," Sen added.
Commtrendz Risk Management Services CEO Gnanasekar Thiagarajan said due to high gold prices and Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) demand for gold has been benign.
The gold jewellery retail market is likely to witness a 10 per cent decline in sales in terms of volume driven by a nearly 20 per cent hike in prices from last year, he added.
Former GJC chairman and NAC Jewellers (Chennai) Managing Director Anantha Padmanabhan said the situation has been steady since morning and footfalls are 60 per cent of last year.
"The Akshaya Tritiya has been spilt over to Sunday as well. We expect to get a better picture tomorrow. As of now, looking at the situation we expect a heavy decline in demand in volume from last year as people are yet to adjust to the high gold prices," he added.
Uttar Pradesh-based Aisshpra Gems and Jewels Vaibhav Saraf said footfall at stores during the morning was good and declined in the afternoon due to hot weather.
"The consumer footfalls picked up again towards the evening. People are mostly going for lightweight items for an average of around 7 grams this festival. As the muhurat is till tomorrow we will get an actual picture on Sunday," he noted.
PNG Jewellers Chairman and Managing Director Saurabh Gadgil said, being a weekend has been very encouraging and jewellery retailers are expecting good business this Akshaya Tritiya.
"People are basically going for weddings as well as lightweight jewellery items or everyday wear. We expect the footfalls to remain steady till tomorrow. This year we are seeing a lot of interest in jewellery, especially the lightweight items," he added.
De Beers Forevermark Vice President Amit Pratihari said, "on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, we have been witnessing strong footfalls. All our partner retailers have received a good response and we have witnessed a strong momentum across the country, particularly in South India, where it's a major festival."

People are taking more interest in diamond jewellery, he said adding that "We have noticed around 25-30 per cent growth this Akshaya Tritiya and are upbeat that the strong demand for this festivity will be retained for the rest of the year.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 22 2023 | 10:43 PM IST

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