COVID-19: Jewellers start opening stores, sales down to 20-25 pc
With retailers starting to open their shops in green zones, the gems and jewellery industry is slowly inching back towards normalcy, but is witnessing just 20-25 per cent sales
With retailers starting to open their shops in green zones, the gems and jewellery industry is slowly inching back towards normalcy, but is witnessing just 20-25 per cent sales. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed shops to open during the lockdown, which has been extended till May 18, for essential commodities and standalone business establishments of non-essential goods.
All India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJF) Chairman Anantha Padmanabhan told PTI that jewellers have opened shops in few states after taking permission from local authorities in the last one week.
"These retailers are doing 20-25 per cent business as people are coming to buy wedding related jewellery as gold prices are going up and also those who had bought gold online during Akshaya Tritiya are also coming to redeem their purchases," he added.
Gold prices in India are currently ruling at Rs 45,000 per 10 grams, he said.
The jewellers' body is keeping an eye on how COVID-19 situation pans out till May 18 and what decisions are taken by the government, he added.
In Tamil Nadu, Padmanabhan said jewellers have approached authorities to allow them to open shops.
"We have sent representations to the authorities to allow us to open shops. We will take all precautionary measures under the government guidelines to curb the pandemic," he added.
Meanwhile, Kalyan Jewellers has opened 10 stores in the last week, one each in Odisha, Assam, Puducherry and seven in Karnataka after getting clearance from state governments.
"We have opened 10 stores in India since last one week and are taking all safety measures for curbing COVID-19 pandemic, including social distancing, store and hand sanitization among others.
"These stores are opened after discussions with the local governments. Currently, we are witnessing wedding related purchases," Kalyan Jewellers Executive Director Ramesh Kalyanaraman said.
He said the company has enough inventory to cater to its customers and is constantly in touch with local governments and taking stock of the situation.
"We are inventory ready and will open the rest of our stores once the local government gives the go ahead. Once all our stores are open, we expect business to come back to normal momentum within a month," he said.
The company, which has 34 stores in the Middle East, has opened 13 of them in the UAE and Qatar, he added.
Senco Gold and Diamonds has also announced reopening of its stores across green and orange zones in four states -- West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Karnataka.
Headquartered in Kolkata, the company plans to start operations across all locations in a phased manner following clearance by the concerned government authorities.
"We have started operating at selected stores in four states after getting approvals from local government authorities. To ensure safe hygienic shopping experience for our customers and for the well-being of our employees, we will be following all suggested safety measures," Senco Gold and Diamonds Executive Director Suvankar Sen said.
"We are ensuring contact-less shopping experience by using new age technology and emphasizing on digital payments," he added.
The company is also promoting its e-commerce platform for shopping and is suggesting customers to do first round of selection with the help of e-catalog, prior to visiting the store.
Meanwhile, Tanishq, a jewellery brand from Tata Group, on Saturday announced plans to reopen its 328 stores across the country in a phased manner by opening first 50 stores by Sunday.
It would continue to comply with all rules related to COVID-19 lockdown, while reopening and running operations, the company said a statement.
See Zee Business Live TV Streaming Below:
"We are reopening our stores in a phased manner because each store has to pass an eligibility test prior to re-commencing operations. This is to ensure each store is 100 per cent prepared to manage the store, staff and customers," CEO of jewellery division at Titan Company Ajoy Chawla said.
Get Latest Business News, Stock Market Updates and Videos; Check your tax outgo through Income Tax Calculator and save money through our Personal Finance coverage. Check Business Breaking News Live on Zee Business Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe on YouTube.