Kolkata, September 8 Sale of platinum jewellery, which was growing at an average rate of around 20-25 per cent till 2019 at around 7 tonnes in jewellery fabrication terms, dipped to a low of around 5.25 tonnes in 2021 due to the Covid-induced lockdown and slowdown in economy. However, demand has been picking up steadily due to the inherent value of platinum as a category and its growing acceptance in the Tier-II and Tier-III markets.

According to Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Director, PGI-India, platinum jewellery fabrication is expected to bounce back to the pre-Covid levels that was witnessed in 2019.

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“Till 2019, we were looking at an average of around 20-25 per cent year-on-year growth of platinum jewellery for our strategic partners and hope to clock the same growth in 2022. The April-June period has been good this year and we have surpassed the 2019 levels for the same period and the overall sentiment looks buoyant,” Banerjee told BusinessLine.  

V-shaped recovery

When the markets opened in September 2020, the October-December was a strong quarter from an industry perspective for all categories including platinum. It helped the industry achieve a V-shaped recovery which then continued in Q1 of 2021. The platinum business bounced back in Q3 2021 due to the festive and wedding season and the growth momentum picked up in the last quarter of the year.

The fourth quarter of 2021 witnessed significant growth with a strong wedding season and a series of festivals that traditionally encouraged jewellery buying. PGI and its strategic partners came together to build demand through various consumer and trade marketing programmes. This added to the growth impetus, making platinum the fastest-growing category for PGI’s strategic partners in 2021, up by 30 per cent y-o-y, she said.

Stores expansion

PGI launched the second edition of the signature retail activation programme Platinum Season of Hope in October 2021, it panned out to more than 1,370 retail stores across the expanse of the country and the participating retailers witnessed a 29 per cent growth over last year.

“Our retail partners have witnessed triple-digit growth in Q2 2022 and are expecting the same to continue in Q3 & Q4 of this year. The convergence of the festive and wedding seasons is expected to further drive consumer sentiment and positivity in the market,” she said.

Demand from smaller towns

While demand from Tier-II towns for platinum jewellery was already there, the growth story from Tier III towns is also playing out in a big way, she said.

PGI has partnered with 658 leading retailers with 1,700 doors across 330 cities to ensure that consumers have access to platinum jewellery and to fulfil the demand potential.

“We have a strong presence in markets beyond metros like Kochi, Nashik, Bhubaneshwar, Surat, Indore, which are growing in both distribution and retail sales. Our biggest retailers who are powerful players have a strong distribution network in Tier II and Tier III markets and they have taken platinum right across,” she said.

In terms of distribution percentage from retail partners, Tier I accounts for around 60 per cent, Tier II for 35 per cent and Tier III currently account for around five per cent.