No shine in jewellery sales

Many shops see low footfalls due to safety concerns

Published - July 09, 2020 12:17 am IST - CHENNAI

A customer at a jewellery shop after the lockdown.

A customer at a jewellery shop after the lockdown.

Many jewellery shops that opened on Monday are managing only 10-20% of sales as they are witnessing low footfalls due to the pandemic.

Jewellers in the city noted that shops were open till 5 p.m. following the State government orders. S. Santhakumar, secretary, Madras Jewellers’ Federation, said shops were open after more than a fortnight and followed safety norms. However, response was poor due to fears over the spread of COVID-19.

Wedding purchases

Most customers were those who visited for wedding purchases and other such events. “We are managing sales with available stock as most goldsmiths are yet to resume work in Chennai and other parts of the State,” he said. NSC Bose Road and Edapalayam, which are hubs for goldsmiths, remained deserted as several goldsmiths have returned to their home towns.

N. Ramachandran, a goldsmith in Edapalayam, said, “Only 10-15% of the 2,000 goldsmith workshops have opened after the relaxations. We are not getting many orders as jewellery shops too are hit.”

The sky-rocketing price of gold and silver was cited as another reason that has deterred people from buying ornaments. On Wednesday, one gram of 22-carat gold was priced at ₹4,692 as against ₹4,626 sold on the previous day.

Fall in demand

N. Ananthapadmanabhan, chairman, All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council, said the demand for physical gold has fallen as prices have escalated.

More investors are turning towards Gold Exchange Traded Funds and gold bonds.

The trend of more investment in gold across the world has led to a jump in prices. The political scenario in the U.S. and the elections would have an impact on gold cost. The prices may not come down till November, he added.

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