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Woven in glitter

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Vijayawada is wreathed in a string of jewellery stores that lend a rare sheen to the city

Going for glitterWomen of Vijayawada have never let down jewellery retailersPhoto: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar
Going for glitterWomen of Vijayawada have never let down jewellery retailersPhoto: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

The string of jewelry stores along Bandar Road has changed the face of the city. What used to be a hub of petty traders and dozens of vendors is now a bustling business centre. Mushrooming jewellery stores that flankthe road have lent a rare glitter.

Not very long ago, people visited either One Town or Besant Road for family shopping but of late, the Bandar Road has been attracting a major chunk of shoppers with its dazzling line of showrooms enticing customers who are spoilt for choice.

This change began with the diversification of family businesses, particularly those in the jewellery business, when there was no more room left either at Besant Road or at One Town. With the two traditional destinations chock-a-block with shops and other establishments jostling for space, the new entrants chose to settle along the Bandar Road, especially in the wake of its widening to 100 ft in early part of 2006.

The advent of branded showrooms soon turned this stretch into a nerve centre of gold and diamond business, attracting the attention of branded showrooms.

Confident about doing good business, traders began to invest huge money. Tanishq was the first showroom to open its retail store followed by Khazana, TBZ and others. Now, there are about a dozen branded showrooms on this stretch which include Anjaneya jewelers, Sri Devi Jewellers and Bombay Jewellers.

The new swanky showrooms, with an array of dazzling jewellery on display, have dealt a severe blow to the traditional goldsmiths with their tiny little shops. But the latter put up a brave face.

Ask them if their business has been affected with the entry of new stores and they vehemently deny saying they have been in this business for many generations and therefore, they enjoy the trust of their customers. “Old habits die hard. Our old customers continue to come to us because of the trust factor. When it comes to buying gold, nothing works like trust. With us, our customers have the benefit of interacting directly with the proprietor and then buy the jewellery piece of their choice,” says a jeweler.

The retail operators, meanwhile, avoid discussing their client base. Nor do they disclose their annual turnout. But going by the ever-bustling outlets that have a crowd of enthusiastic buyers at any given point, it is anyone’s imagination.

Besides people from across Krishna district, buyers from cities as far as Eluru, Gudivada, Vuyyuru, Nuzvid, Khammam, Guntur and Rajahmundry frequent these shimmering outlets.

G.V.R. Subba Rao

 

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