Visakhapatnam: Jewellery retailers stare at a bleak future

Visakhapatnam: Jewellery retailers stare at a bleak future
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Period between April and June generally brings windfall for jewellery retailers
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Period between April and June generally brings windfall for jewellery retailers Dealers fear that there may not be any sign of improvement in the business in the next six months

Visakhapatnam: Come summer, it's time for wedding bells to ring louder and jewellers to reap it rich. The period between April and June generally brings windfall for jewellery retailers as marriage parties indulge in buying gold ornaments on a large scale. Besides the wedding season, these months are considered auspicious for jewellers as many invest in gold during Ugadi and Akshaya Tritiya followed by 'Varalakshmi puja' during Sravanamasam and 'Dhanteras' during Diwali.

However, this year, due to lockdown, proved to be a big let-down for jewellers. Even after the lockdown gets lifted or restrictions get eased to an extent, they fear that there may not be any sign of improvement in the business in the next six months as it is unlikely that the buyers would splurge in the prevailing bleak financial scenario.

Terming the current situation as a blow for the jewellery industry, general manager (Marketing), Vaibhav Jewellers J. Raghunath says, "Both March and April are considered auspicious months for the jewellery business every year. While March is the last month of the financial year, Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated later this month. There was hardly any transaction during Ugadi. I guess, a similar trend might continue for the ensuing Akshaya Tritiya. With both March and April put together, the business is likely to witness a dip 20-25 per cent approximately."

For the next few months, Raghunath predicts that the spending behaviour of the consumers is likely to change. "Hence, we are preparing to scale up our digital presence and focus on e-commerce to reach out to the customers through our site www.vaibhavjewellers.com.," he adds.

Jewellery retailers who bank on retail operations alone stare at an uncertain future. "As of now, business has come to a standstill and it would easily take minimum six months to make up for the lost sale. However, uncertainty continues to loom large as retail business has been largely impacted across the country due to novel coronavirus pandemic," explains G. Balaji, showroom manager, GRT Jewellers.

Many jewellers in the city, who downed shutters, bemoan that their hopes of doing a roaring business during the wedding season fell flat due to Covid-19. "Keeping the present unprecedented situation in view, it would take a while for retailers to recover. Moreover, customers' spending pattern will certainly differ as it would take time for them to walk-in to a jewellery store, given the current economic gloom," laments I Brahmajee, manager of M V S Jewel Park.

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