Metro rail takes the glitter off jewellers - The New Indian Express

Metro rail takes the glitter off jewellers

Published: 26th September 2013 12:36 PM

Last Updated: 26th September 2013 01:13 PM

Though there is no clarity about the completion of Kochi Metro Work along the MG Road, the jewellers here are a worried lot. The 2.5-km stretch  on the MG Road from Madhav Pharmacy to Jose Junction, which houses 25 small and big jewellery shops, arguably the stretch that houses the largest number of jewellery shops, will either have to pull down their shutters or migrate to available spaces in shopping malls. Interestingly, the gold business here, which is around Rs 30 lakh daily, declined by 50 per cent owing to the Metro Rail construction work and the  resultant traffic restrictions.

Ramesh S Pai, managing partner, A Geeri Pai Jewellers said they were much  worried as there is no clarity about Kochi Metro Rail construction on MG Road. “Almost all the major brands are present on MG Road. Earlier, the average daily business by the jewellers here was in the 500g-1000 g range. But recently it went below 500g. After textiles, jewellery is the major business in this specific stretch. With economic slowdown prevailing in the state, the demand has also taken a dip,” he added. They are planning to move to a nearby mall during the period. South India  accounts for about 60 per cent of the total gold consumption in the  country, of which 25 per cent is consumed in Kerala. Kochi accounts for about 14 per cent of the total gold consumed in the state. In 2011, 245 tonnes of gold worth Rs 75,000 crore was sold in the state.

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Realising the need to find out a new business model, jewellers are now targeting specific audiences by starting boutiques. Natural stone, diamond and jewellery boutiques are the latest trends in the city now.

Sathian M G, general manager, Bhima Jewellers said that there is an affluent class in the city who are the direct customers of these expensive boutiques.  “Now people in Kochi go to North Indian cities to buy them. By starting boutiques, we can cater the needs of this specific consumers and overcome the challenges in the retail segment,” he added.

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