Leveraging its brand equity further, Nalli Silks, a household name in silk sarees, has forayed into retail jewellery. The company today opened its first jewellery retail outlet in T. Nagar in Chennai.

According to N. Ramnath, Chairman of Nalli Jewellers, the company has invested Rs 100 crore in setting up the showroom.

The 35,000 sq ft showroom is spread over five floors. In the first phase, it has launched three floors of gold and silver jewellery.

In the next two to three month’s time, “we will have one floor of diamond and platinum jewellery and one floor of exclusive wedding jewellery,” said Kamal Tandon, CEO of the Nalli Group.

Niranth Nalli, Ramnath’s son and grandson of Nalli Kuppusami Chetty, is the Vice-Chairman of this venture. Ramnath says Nalli Silks, which primarily sells wedding saris, chose to expand to jewellery as it is closely linked with weddings.

“The idea was conceived three-four years ago, but took time to materialise.”

According to him, the venture is a result of a market survey on how to leverage the brand Nalli.

It also has a team of designers. However, to start with it will outsource jewellery made to its specifications from different manufacturers across the country.

“In the next three months we are setting up our own facility at Hosur at an investment of Rs 25-30 crore,” said Tandon.

He said the company wants to have jewellery outlets wherever it has saree showrooms. At present, Nalli has 25 showrooms across the country and one each in Singapore and the US. In the immediate future, it plans another showroom in Chennai – “either in Adyar or Anna Nagar”.

Referring to the high gold prices, Ramnath says, “Wedding saris also use gold and silver zari. Sari prices have nearly doubled in the last year or so. But people are still buying expensive saris for weddings. Gold prices have been rising for quite some time now. But, we have to start at some point,” says Ramnath.


(This article was published on September 19, 2012)
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