Buying gold during Akshaya Tritiya has been promoted heavily over the years. And this year too, it’s no different with stores in the city offering special packages and discounts on making charges, jewellery sets, free sliver coins, etc today.
While advance booking is pretty much the norm, it does seem that elections have had an effect on the buying spree of gold – shops registered a much lesser footfall than usual on the eve of Akshaya Tritiya on Thursday even as the auspicioous time is said to have begun on Thursday afternoon and is set to last till today.
However, jewellery store owners are hopeful that the doldrums will blow over on the auspicious occasion that never fails in drumming up some shopping excitement.
“There has been a lull due to the polls and also due to fact that people are not allowed to carry more than `50,000 in cash due to the elections,” says Siraj PK, deputy regional head, Malabar Gold. With rise in advance booking and steady stream of customers close to the auspicious time, traders are feeling secure in the fact that there will be a rise in sales these two days.
If one observes last year, with rates falling, most customers completed their purchases in April itself (at `2,104, it was the lowest price in 21 months) which led to lesser sales during the auspicious occasion. However, price of gold this year is at a higher `2,812 in comparison to last year’s `2,568.
“Although there has been a slump due to elections, we are hoping sales will be much better than last year now that Akshaya Tritiya is here. Already, we have been seeing a good response. People are mostly buying chains, bangles, earrings and rings. Temple jewellery and jewellery sets are being bought by those who are getting married this month,” says Ravichandran, store manager, GRT Gold Jewellers.
In order to ‘rise’ to the occasion, jewellery stores are also pulling out all stops to woo customers. Flat discounts, gift schemes offering a free silver coin equal to the weight of the gold jewellery bought, and small pendants along with purchases of jewellery sets are juts few of the schemes.
“We are offering a free silver coin for 10 gms of gold and also a 10 per cent value addition in different categories like necklaces and bangles,” adds Siraj of the offers being made at Malabar Gold. As far as the kind of jewellery being bought, while gold still remains popular, it does seem that the yellow metal has lost some sheen. Instead, diamond and uncut diamonds, emeralds and rubies as opposed to plain gold sets are being preferred.
“As far as trends go, ‘minimalist’ is the in-thing today. With urban women turning to more contemporary Indian sarees and dresses for formal events, statement jewellery has become inevitable. Diamonds have that evergreen element associated with them which makes them all the more ethereal,” shares Revathi Kant, head design and innovation, jewellery division, Titan Company Limited.
Talking about the new fad for colour, she adds, “For those who want to experiment more with diamonds, teaming them with rubies, emeralds, sapphires and other gemstones are considered extremely trendy nowadays. Colour blocking (using strong colour contrasts) is becoming extensively fashionable in every aspect and even in jewellery.”
Whatever the trend, this year could prove to be a turnaround for the industry.