New Delhi/Bengaluru/Chennai/Kolkata: Buyers started trickling in from the morning to various jewellery shops across the country on Monday to usher in good luck in their lives on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. Jewellers expect tepid surge in sales as the gold price has shot up in the last few weeks following global cues.
"I am expecting only 10-12 percent sales growth in value terms and not in volume terms as prices have shot up quite a bit in the last two months, and today it is hovering over Rs 30,000 per 10 grams in the national capital," P.C. Jeweller managing director Balram Garg told IANS in Delhi.
He mentioned that the price of the yellow metal was around Rs 26,000 per 10 grams only two months back. But as the price of the precious yellow metal has gone up in the international market it has shot up in India as well.
Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindus and the Jains and it is believed to bring good luck and success. It is considered to be an auspicious day to bring home gold.
"We expect gold sales to pick up by around 20 percent on Akshaya Tritiya this year. The only concern is the higher price of gold. Last year on the auspicious day, the price was in the range of Rs 27,000 per 10 gm of 24 karat gold, while this year, it is over Rs 30,300. Consumers are expected to buy lesser quantity of gold due to higher prices," Bachhraj Bamalwa, past chairman All India Gem and Jewellery Federation, told IANS.
The story was the same in Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
"We opened the shops earlier than usual so as to enable customers to buy in the morning as it is a working day. We expect sales to be brisk in the evening. The walk-ins are there. Since the election commission flying squads are doing random checking of the vehicles, people may be reluctant to carry heavy cash to jewellery shops," N. Anantha Padmanabhan, managing director of NAC Jewellers, in Chennai, told IANS.
The Tamil Nadu assembly elections are on May 16.
"Gold coin sales today is brisk. Sales of five gram gold coins (price Rs 16,625 taxes extra) are good today while the 10 grams coins (Rs 32,935) are fine. The 20 gram coin (Rs 64,710) sales is bit slow owing to the price. It is our customers who largely buy the gold coins. Weekly our sales average around 150 grams," an Indian Overseas Bank official at the bank`s Cathedral Road branch in Chennai told IANS.
Sahil Chhabira, director - operations I Love Diamonds, in Bengaluru, said the consumer sentiment in 2016 has been low owing to the mandatory PAN Card number submission for purchases beyond Rs 2 lakh.
"We are seeing that people are switching over to small ticket purchases and rushing to online portals as they get to access a wider variety unlike visiting a retail jewellery store. Our latest feature on the website `Pickup At Store` has been well accepted by the audience, we have seen quite a few bookings online and the deliveries are scheduled to happen at our Trust Stores on Akshaya Tritiya," Chhabria told IANS.
"We have been witnessing a steady surge in sales during Akshaya Tritiya each year. Customer response has been remarkable over the last few days with sales peaking on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. There has been a strong shift in jewellery buying behaviour as more and more people are now exploring the online channel as a trustworthy option for fine jewellery," online portal Bluestone.com`s chief operating officer Arvind Singhal told IANS.
"Last year on Akshaya Tritiya, jewellers reported more than 20 percent growth in sales over the previous year. This year, the market has been on a disturbing phase following a 45 day strike. It will be good enough if the gold sales trend follows the last year`s trend given the higher price of gold we have on Monday,` Suvro Chandra, joint managing director, P.C. Chandra Jewellers told IANS in Kolkata.