Jewellers in the city say the Covid-induced economic downturn has hit their business hard and sales are down by more than 50 per cent. Neither the festive season nor the upcoming wedding season seems to be fuelling the demand for the yellow metal.
Abhishek Agarwal, owner of Sajawat Jewellers, said that the market was down by 50 per cent as compared with last year. Even the marriage season, he said, had not boosted the demand. He said that the jump in gold prices was not due to rise in demand but due to the international market. He said he was not sure whether the market would pick up in the near future.
Narendra Simhal, owner of Alankar Jewellers said they are getting queries but the queries are not converting into sales. “The pandemic and the lockdown have reduced the availability of cash with the people. And there is no guarantee when this disease would end. So, people are treading cautiously. They are only purchasing jewellery for marriages,” he said.
Simhal said that the sharp rise in the price of gold has also hit the sales. According to him, the rise in the price of gold is not driven by domestic demand by global factors. He said that their business is barely 25% of what it was in the same period the last year.
Vedant Agarwal, owner of Rajlaxmi Jewellers said that the traditional festive season purchase of gold jewellery is missing. “People are only purchasing small items for gifting etc but not for investment. And that is because they want to keep cash safe for any health-related problems,” he said. According to him, they don’t have much hope from the marriage season because it would be very short. “It will begin after Diwali and end by the first week of December,” he said.
Deepali Jain, a staffer at a Kundan jewellery (made of extremely refined 24 carat gold) shop, says that the price of gold was rising but the ‘market is thanda’. She is not sure whether the demand would improve. She said that traditionally, people purchase jewellery during the Diwali season but whether it would happen this year is uncertain.
A sales executive of Kalyan Jewellery, who refused to identify himself, said that earlier people used to purchase jewellery as an investment but with the high price of gold, it is no longer a preferred investment. People are purchasing jewellery only if they need it.
I have come to purchase a mangalsutra for Karwa Chauth. It is priced at around Rs one lakh. But I didn’t like the design so I am not buying it
-Jyoti Rathore, homemaker
I want to buy a set of jhumka. It cost Rs 45,000 before Covid. Now, it is priced at Rs 55,000.
-Khushbhoo Gupta, teacher