Keeping with the trend of a shift of consumers to the organised sector, leading jewellers, including Tanishq and Kalyan, did good sales this Dhanteras on Tuesday. However, unorganised, neighbourhood stores, with a 70% share in the jewellery market, witnessed a lacklustre Dhanteras — considered auspicious for gold purchases — with most registering a drop in sales. Given the dominant share of unorganised players in the jewellery market, overall sales were down by evening. However, since consumers keep purchasing until late night, with Tuesday being a working day for most, a clearer picture of consumer sentiments would emerge only by Wednesday morning, said jewellers. PC Jewellers MD Balram Garg expected his company to have posted 30-35% growth by the time sales are completed by midnight. Kalyan Jewellers executive director Ramesh Kalyanraman said consumer response is very good and expressed confidence of achieving 10-15% growth.
Ishu Datwani, founder of Anmol Jewellers, said: “It has been a slow start in terms of number of customers but better price points. We are expecting more customers as the day goes by and still expecting a 20% spike in Dhanteras and Diwali sales.” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation chairman Nitin Khandelwal said overall sales by jewellers, both organised and unorganised, could remain around last year’s level. Subdued rural disposable incomes, partly due to a fall in prices of many farm items earlier this year and compliance requirements after the launch of the goods and services tax, have weighed on jewellery sales by small jewellers. This is because most of them are concentrated in rural areas and had been operating in an opaque environment for ages. Even though there is a positive buying sentiment after withdrawal of the know -your-customer-requirement for purchase of over Rs 50,000, many people are turning to other items such as electronics or even cars and bikes. Lack of adequate EMI facility is hampering gold sales, said Khandelwal. At Rs 30,710 per 10 grams, gold prices in Delhi are ruling slightly higher than last year’s Dhanteras.
World Gold Council India managing director Somasundaram PR said: “It appears that demand for gold jewellery and branded coins seems to be better than the past quarter, particularly in relation to organised players.” He added that the ensuing wedding season, however, holds the key for the quarterly demand performance. Vaibhav Saraf, director, Aisshpra Gems & Jewels, said: “The day started-off well and we have a good walk-in since 9 am. With the removal of the gems and jewellery sector from the PMLA (Prevention of Money-laundering Act) just ahead of the festive season, there has been an upbeat sentiment as this step minimised compliances, which helped the country to regain its fervour of festive gold buying.” However, Confederation of All India Traders president BC Bhartia said termed the Dhanteras deeply disappointing, mainly for small jewellers.