Gems and jewellery sector in China, Hong Kong, and the USA is showing some green shoots, but India is still feeling the heat of the situation and isn’t showing major signs of recovery.
All the same, worries about day to day operations and whether artisans will return to work in time, will they be able to meet the expectations of their clients and new government norms, etc are problems that they cannot seem to escape.
Many corporate houses have laid off part of their staff, they have also asked existing personnel to accept pay cuts, in this scenario per capita disposable income has reduced considerably. In addition, gold prices have rocketed like never-before. As a result, demand for gems and jewellery is likely to reduce considerably.
Jewellery retailers, present a different viewpoint. According to Anil Kataria, DP Jewellers, Indore, “Those who have weddings and other important functions planned in their families, will come forward to buy gold.” There’s truth in his words, which are based on years of business experience and having survived several economic downturns.
“People may cut down on spending on other luxury goods, like high fashion, or expensive cars, etc -- but father of the bride will always gift his daughter lots of gold on her wedding day, because it is an investment, which she can fall back on, anytime in life,” he explains.
All said and done, life may not be the same again after the pandemic, “The pandemic will force gems and jewellery retailers to adjust to a whole new normal – ways of conducting business will have to change,” opines A Shivaram, founder of www.retailgurukul.com.
The experienced consultant feels that many old world business techniques – like waiting for customers to walk in and simply following government norms, without any additional effort to woo customers will lead to retailer losing his clients to his competitor. “World over businesses are feeling the impact of economic slowdown, turning a blind eye to reality is of no use,” he asserts.
Attract customers, increase demand
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April - May 2020