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With life returning slowly to normalcy, people are also gradually venturing to purchase jewellery, giving hope to the industry that expects to do 60-65 per cent of the total business during the ongoing festivals.

"Since last weekend, the footfall to the retail stores has improved, and jewellers are doing 40 per cent of the business from the earlier 20-25 per cent. As most of the wedding dates have been pushed to the last quarter, we expect spending on large jewellery items during this quarter," All-India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) Chairman Anantha Padmanaban told PTI.

He added that continuing restrictions on the size of the event will encourage more spending in jewellery.

Padmanaban also said there is a lot of pent-up demand in the market and the weakness in gold price is likely to be supportive of the improvement in jewellery sales during the festivals.

"Looking at the current momentum, we are expecting wedding jewellery sale to accelerate from Monday onwards. I expect that the industry will do 60-65 per cent of the total sales," he added.

Gold prices were on Friday ruling at around Rs 49,200-51,000 per 10 grams in the domestic market, while in the international market, it was at USD 1,908 an ounce.

PNG Jewellers Chairman and Managing Director Saurabh Gadgil said Dussehra is the biggest single-day festival for shopping in many parts of the country and as it falls on Sunday this year, there are expectations of good sales this year with an increase in weekend footfalls.

"We are expecting a strong recovery not only in terms of picking up pre-booked jewellery but also with fresh buying. Pre-booking of jewellery for Dussehra is already showing a significant number," he added.

Overall, the season looks to be in full swing with Dussehra and Diwali falling in two different months, he said.

"This will again help the trade to push sales with two different occasions for jewellery shopping. Value wise, the industry will fare better than last year since gold prices have gone up," Gadgil said.

He added that gold rates are expected to remain between Rs 49,000 and Rs 51,000. "Till the end of Diwali, we don't see any significant movement in gold rates unless there is a major disturbance. All in all, it looks like a strong recovery in the jewellery industry." Echoing a similar view, WHP Jewellers Director Aditya Pethe said the industry is expecting this quarter's performance to be the best for the entire year as the main festive season is in this quarter.

"There is a pent-up demand in the market due to the pandemic, as many weddings were postponed. They are now going to be held in this quarter and consumers have started buying jewellery for the same," he said.

ANMOL Jewellers founder Ishu Datwani said customers are returning to the jewellery stores for both festivals as well as wedding related buying.

"The demand has definitely increased the moment. Navratri has started and now it almost feels like normal times. We are expecting good sales this Dussehra because all-over India, the pent-up demand is showing up," he added.

Datwani added that he is getting wedding- and Diwali-related enquiries and is hoping for the demand to go up going forward.

Lala Jugal Kishore Jewellers Director Tanya Rastogi said almost all the sectors are bouncing back at different degrees and the gems and jewellery industry is witnessing a similar recovery.

She added that the gold rate has also been supportive. "Owing to the gradual opening of the lockdown, all the weddings have shifted to this quarter." Rastogi also said the industry was facing a slack in production due to shortage of labourers who had migrated back to their hometowns during lockdown.

"Therefore, though the demand was there, procurement of the product turned out to be a long process. Looking at how the market is shaping right now, we expect this Dussehra to be fruitful," she added

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