Monday, November 29, 1999

Jewellers await Akshaya Tritiya sales bonanza

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Diamond and gold jewelers have a sparkle in their eyes. This Sunday is Akshaya Tritiya, the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar to purchase gold. Jewellers are expecting 40% higher sales, despite gold prices ruling at record highs. Analysts, though, are cautious, and predict flat sales. Gold prices are substantially higher compared with last year's Akshaya Tritiya, when it traded at Rs 14,800 for 10g. On Friday, the precious metal traded at Rs 18,325 in the Mumbai bullion market.Big brands in the gold and diamond retail business are optimistic about an uptick in jewellery sales this season. Some retailers also expect the season to be better than last year. Sandeep Kulhalli, vice president, Tanishq said: "In 2009-10, retail growth was around 37%. For this season of Akshaya Tritiya, we have huge discount offers on gold and diamond up to 25%". Hence, he expects "sales will be 40-50% higher than last year when the economy had taken a hit, affecting jewellery sales."Tanishq is looking to expand this year and plans to open 17 large-format stores with Rs 10-20 crore investments each.Nirvana Diamonds had to live with a price hike of 10-18% on smaller diamonds in past few months. But for others like Adora, the impact of price hike has been marginal. Adora feels that the price fluctuation had started last November and Akshaya Tritiya is a good time to recover ground. A Mumbai-based analyst, however, cautioned that jewellery demand is expected to stay flat at the current levels due to sharp rise in prices ahead of Akshaya Tritiya this year.

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