Gold sales rebounded on Akshaya Tritiya after remaining subdued for past two years due to Covid-19 as a decline in the metal's prices along with public holiday on Tuesday led to heavy footfall at jewellery stores, industry players said.
Jewellers witnessed heavy interest among customers to buy gold on this Akshaya Tritiya, which is considered auspicious for buying the precious metal, and sales are expected to be 10 per cent higher than last Akshaya Tritiya, according to the industry.
"This Akshaya Tritiya has been very strong. We will keep our shops open till late. We are expecting to comfortably surpass the 2019 level. This year pent up demand, a decline in gold prices and the day being a holiday has contributed to boosting the sales," Saiyam Mehra, the vice-chairman of All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), told PTI.
He said, with taxes, the price of 22 karat gold was ruling at around Rs 48,300 per 10 grams, which had recently peaked at Rs 52,100 per 10 grams.
In terms of volume, Mehra said, the industry is likely to have 10 per cent more business this Akshaya Tritiya compared to 2019's.
World Gold Council Regional CEO, India, Somasundaram PR said, "After two years of Covid induced lull, the festive sentiment among trade and consumers appears to be stronger this year, surpassing expectations. Sustained aggressive marketing and trade promotions have played a role in increasing in-store visits and leveraging the occasion."
Digital gold buying platforms also sound upbeat, with small buyers enthusiastically picking up the convenience of purchasing gold for as little as one rupee on their smartphone, without having to worry about purity and transparency, Somasundaram said.
"As the gold prices stabilise, initial market feedback points to a buoyant Akshaya Tritiya with a heightened interest in gold among consumers following risks posed by inflation and global uncertainties, he added.
Arun Narayan, Vice President, Category, Marketing and Retail, Tanishq at Titan Company said, "We have witnessed a very good response from customers who were looking forward to celebrating Akshaya Tritiya after two years.
"Our safety protocols and preparations ensured that we served very large numbers of customers across our 390 stores while sustaining our 'Gold Standards of Safety'. Our newly introduced Gold Coin ATMs also enabled customers to shop quickly and comfortably. We now look forward, enthused by this response, to a good wedding season ahead.
PNG Jewellers Chairman and Managing Director Saurabh Gadgil said this year's Akshaya Tritiya has been phenomenal as people are walking into the stores since early morning, he said adding "we expect buyers to throng the stores right up till 10 pm tonight".
Prices have corrected too and there is a lot of demand for gold and diamond jewellery alike and compared to last year, which was an Akshaya Tritiya in lockdown and involved online sales, this year is all about visiting the store and making purchases, he said.
"We are already seeing an increase in numbers by 30 per cent from 2019 sales, which we expect to further increase by the time this day ends," he said.
Overall the industry is looking at 25 tonnes plus sales in gold this year across the country as Akshaya Tritiya makes a fantastic comeback after a two-year hiatus, he added.
He said, wedding shopping has been the highlight for us this Akshaya Tritiya with as many as 40 lakh weddings are to take place all over India in the next couple of months and, hence, people are capitalising on this auspicious day to make their wedding jewellery purchases.
Kalyan Jewellers Executive Director Ramesh Kalyanaraman said this Akshaya Tritiya, we have witnessed a strong momentum across geographies and product segments, resulting in a positive growth outlook.
"We are encouraged by the significant increase in footfall, sales volume and value, even when compared to the pre-pandemic days of 2019. The higher traction this Akshaya Tritiya could be owing to the lower volatility in gold prices over the past week, further aided by revenge shopping and today's festival holiday," he opined.
While an uptick in sales in the southern markets was expected, the response from the non-South markets has also been extremely encouraging, he added.
CaratLane COO and co-founder Avnish Anand said that Akshaya Tritiya has seen customers inquiring about gold coins and chains, significantly less compared to every other year.
Owing to our digital first omni marketing strategy, a majority of our customers walk into the stores with screenshots of designs they shortlisted from the website and previously researched upon by contacting the physical stores, he added.
"With the wedding season around the corner, we've also seen an uprise in the purchase of engagement rings. Interestingly, this year there has been a good traction across the country and not just specific regions," Anand added.
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