Festive Season Rekindles Hope among Indian Jewellers

Wedding and festive seasons have begun in India and jewelers here are once again gearing up to meet the demand which they expect to grow this year after a couple of slump years in the recent past. Last year it was literally a ‘Dark Diwali’ for India’s gem & jewellery sector with jewellery sales going about 30% down.

Providing figures of the second quarter of 2014, the World Gold Council (WGC) says, “Global demand for gold has slumped in the second quarter of 2014 because jewellery purchases decreased. The gold demand was about 16% down in comparison with the same period in 2013 and 10.2% lower than the first quarter of 2014.”

“Besides the last two quarters of 2013, this was the lowest level of demand since the end of 2009. The main reason was that jewellery sales fell 30% compared with the same period in 2013. Second quarter is in India is considered “traditionally to be a quieter quarter for jewellery” but during last two quarter, demand this year is likely to pick-up,’ WGC said.

Vaishali BanerjeeCountry Manager India, Platinum Guild International Ms. Vaishali Banerjee is quite hopeful about platinum jewellery demand during festive and wedding seasons. She says, As per the Retail Trade Barometer conducted earlier this year, retailers are bullish about platinum in 2014 and have estimated a 35% growth. Though the industry is hoping for a good season, but thus far the overall jewellery market is quite subdued and we will need to see how the season unfolds.”

“Platinum is a symbolic piece of jewellery bought at key milestone occasions in the consumer’s life. From our past experience we have seen that no matter how subdued the consumer sentiment is precious moments are always celebrated. And some of these moments will belong to platinum. So we are certain that the coming season will see a growth in platinum sales,” she adds.

Talking about the trends and marketing strategy, Vaishali says, “The awareness of platinum increased because of the 360 degree integrated marketing programme of Platinum Day of Love that has been running even this year. This has built a deep emotional-connect with the consumer and made platinum relevant in their life. Over and above the mass media campaigns we are very active in the digital and social media space considering our audience is online and we get an opportunity to directly connect with them.”

“The design language of platinum has been able to create a balance of tradition and modernity, offering a product which is an expression of modernity through tradition. Platinum appeals to the younger audience who is more educated and aware of international trends and willing to try out newer options. There is also a growing trend of young brides who are looking at platinum as a part of their wedding trousseau,” she adds.

“There is also an increasing desire for men’s jewellery, which presents an additional opportunity for platinum. At the regional level partners and PGI are looking at further developing the men’s segment after witnessing a robust growth last year. Young men today are not only looking at bands in platinum, but are also taking to platinum chains, and bracelets,” she says.

Talking about PGI’s new marketing initiative, Vaishali says, “The plans are on the anvil of launching an exciting new segment in platinum. The PGI has put in over a year of qualitative and quantitative research to identify the consumer insight, need-gaps, understand key motivators to arrive at the final design, product and marketing strategy for the new segment. The industry can now look forward to an exciting new offering in platinum that will soon be on the shelves by the end of the year.”

Rajendra JainMr. Rajendra Jain, Managing Director, India of Swarovski Gemstones is also quite optimistic about the current wedding and festive seasons. He says, “Indian Jewellery market always rocks in second half of the year, beginning of festive and wedding season so as have a good demand for gold & silver Jewellery studded with SWAROVSKI`s created and genuine gemstones. We being optimistic always brings positive vibrations and excitement to the market through our new innovative products, and provide opportunity to the jewellers to offer new creative & innovative line of collection for the season.”

Talking about his marketing initiatives, Mr. Jain says, “Each year, Swarovski launches a collection of new genuine gemstone and created stone cuts and colors to stimulate creativity and push boundaries in jewelry and watch design. The company was delighted to unveil its latest product launches to the Indian market during this festive season. Indian festive & wedding seasons provides Swarovski with the perfect time to promote its new developments right in the very heart of the industry. The novelties presented all reflects the very essence of the company’s quest for creative perfection. We launched the below new products from Swarovski with a great passion for this festive & wedding seasons of India.”

THE 88 FACETS CUT FOR ZIRCONIA: Continuing its dedication to advancing the range of zirconia products with stunning new varieties, Swarovski launches the 88 Facets cut. Eight being a symbol for infinity, the cut’s auspicious name speaks of good fortune and happiness. Just like the number eight’s perfectly proportioned shape, the well-crafted, symmetrical facets of the innovative cut show balance and confidence. These wonderfully positive qualities make the new cut, which is available in pure white, ideally suited for bridal jewelry. Every single 88 Facets stone features a microscopic “Swarovski Zirconia” laser engraving that speaks of Swarovski quality and authenticity.

GENUINE TOPAZ KASHMIR BLUE: Swarovski Genuine Topaz is available in a wide range of extraordinary, bright colors. Ready to join these shades is the exciting new addition, Kashmir, which is presented at IIJS 2014. Same as the other topaz colors, the rich blue is created with TCF™ (Thermal Color Fusion), a unique surface enhancement process that is patented in both Austria and the United States. It brings out brilliant colors in the naturally white genuine material without irradiation and is safe for both the consumer and the environment.

ALPINITE CASTABLE: As a proof of the company’s belief in developing top quality products and remarkable innovation, Swarovski has succeeded in offering an affordable imitation of emerald and blue sapphire. The new castable addition to warovski’s synthetic stones portfolio is cut for utmost brilliance, perfectly calibrated and uniform in color. Available in Emerald Green, Sapphire Blue and Black, Alpinite Castable captivates the beholder.

Casting away fear of poor monsoon and its probable adverse effect on jewellery demand, Mr. Jain says, “One should always remain optimistic and make the market environment positive so that negativity has no place and put all sincere energies in bringing excitement in the market with offering of new creative & attractive products along with strong marketing strategy during such challenging times.”

The Jewellers Association of Ahmedabad (JAA) is also gearing up to encourage jewellery lovers to buy more jewellery this season. The Association has organized a ‘Swarna Mahotsav’ (Gold Festival) during October this season after a gap of ten years. JAA president Mr. Shantibhai Patel says, “We are quite worried due to the prevailing market conditions but we are still hopeful that the jewellery demand would increase during Diwali festive period. Keeping in mind international markets, we have also planned to give discounts and special gifts on shopping of a specific amount to our customers.”

Rajiv PopleyDirector of one of India’s leading jewelers Popley Group, Mr. Rajiv Popley says, “With the wedding and festival season on, the second half of the current calendar year is expected to boost jewellery demand further. Buyers prefer investments in gold during the festivity which is also very auspicious. With the onset of Ganesh Chaturthi buyers are on shopping spree and this sentiment continues till auspicious occasion of Diwali as festival shopping picks up with pace. This year we expect gold demand to be higher than last year by around 15%. Orders have already started to pick up and advanced orders have been placed for gold jewellery for delivery during auspicious occasion.”

Popleys Unlimited Rewards & Earnings – A unique loyalty program amongst its top 15000 clients known as P.U.R.E. is packed with many offers for the season. Apart from Glitter Points on purchase, there are lots of freebies on every purchase & FREE Diamonds & Watches on various buys absolutely incomparable for its loyal patrons.

Talking about the trends this season, Mr. Popley says, “Demand for gold and diamond jewellery and other gold products is expected be quite robust during the ongoing festival and wedding season as consumers who have deferred purchases for a while are stepping up buying. Buyers are looking for investment in plain gold jewellery, which is the trend this season.”

So wedding and festive seasons have rekindled hopes of Indian jewelers and this year they are expecting to at least wipe out the losses they had made last year.

Posted by Suresh Chotai