The rising gold price, which was nearly Rs.1,700 per gram on Sunday, did not seem to be a deterrent for customers as hundreds of them made a beeline to jewellery showrooms across the city on Akshaya Tritiya.
T. Nagar, the hub of such showrooms, was busy right from morning. Traffic, however, was not hampered though in front of several popular jewellery showrooms there were some hassles for motorists.
People braved the heat and even at noon, crowds spilled over on to the Usman Road flyover. Traffic police regulated the movement of private vehicles and did not allow autorickshaws on Usman Road and the by-lanes. Constables were posted on Dandapani Road-Burkit Road junction and Mannar Reddy Street in T. Nagar and around the Mada streets in Mylapore.
Among the customers were several elderly persons. Seventy-six-year-old K. Janaki, who bought two grams of gold, said: “I have always used the occasion to buy gold coins,” she said. S.K. Pushpa of R.A. Puram chose to buy a bangle for her college-going granddaughter.
S. Shivraj came to Mylapore with his mother and wife to buy a gold ring for his wife. He said it was the first time he was buying gold on Akshaya Tritiya.
For some, making a decision on the design was not easy. T. Krishnakumar and his wife Sudha made the best of their holiday.
“My hometown is T. Nagar. We will go around till we find what we want,” Ms. Sudha said, adding she wanted to buy earrings.
Though a large number of people turned up to shop, the sale was significantly lower in terms of volume, according to jewellers.
“The price in the last 15 days has gone up by nearly Rs.150 a gram and it has drastically affected our sales. The response is not good as it is quite less compared to last year,” said L.K.S. Syed Ahmed, chief advisor, Tamil Nadu State Jewellers Federation.
“Customers came in large numbers but the volume of business was significantly lower. Even discounts did not help, he added. “They [customers] are buying only 30 per cent of what they bought last year.” According to him, jewellers had increased their inventory by 30 per cent. Though the demand for platinum was not affected, that of gold was.
Police personnel at Mambalam police station said though it was a Sunday and festive occasion, the volume of traffic was low. The police said they did not receive any complaint of jewellery theft.