Subdued consumer sentiment dampens Akshaya Tritiya spirits

R Ravikumar Chennai | Updated on November 25, 2017

Golden rules Police officials giving instructions on crowd handlingduring Akshaya Tritiya sales to security personnel at a jewelleryshop in Chennai on Thursday. - BIJOY GHOSH

P Pakalavan, Deputy Commissioner of Police, T Nagar, is busy monitoring the 2-km stretch of Usman Road and its by lanes with his team - including a bomb squad.

Normally, this would be a routine exercise, but the two explosions on a train at the Chennai Central railway station on Thursday morning has made the situation more tense. “Besides, for Akshaya Tritiya, we expect a flood of people on the streets in this stretch,” says Pakalavan.

Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be the second most auspicious day after Dhanteras by consumers. This stretch, called the ‘Golden Furlong’ of the shopping district, houses dozens of jewellery retailers such as Tanishq, Malabar Gold, GRT, Joy Alukkas, NAC Jewellers, LKS Gold House, Prince Jewellery and a host of small retailers. All jewellers together sell over two tonnes of gold on this day every year. Retailers go on an ad blitz. Most local newspapers carry more than one full page advertisement by jewellers. Consumers throng jewellery stores right from the morning.

However, retailers are not all that hopeful this year. Most of them say the consumer sentiment is a little drab this time, and in the last couple of months jewellers have not reported good sales.

N Ananthapadmanabhan, Managing Director of NAC Jewellers, attributed the poor sentiment to higher prices. Last year, the price of gold was at ₹2,600 a gm, and today it is at ₹2,812. “Though there is clearly a latent demand for jewellery, this being the wedding season, I do not think there can be any spike in sales this year. We may at best, do as much as we did last year,” he said.

Princeson Jose, Director, Prince Jewellery, also sounded cautious. He said the sales did not start of well as the bomb blast had an impact. “Not many want to step out. Sales may pick up in the evening or tomorrow. But, I do not expect any great number this time, as the general sentiment is not so good.”

Published on May 01, 2014

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