SHOMA PATNAIK | NT
Panaji : Jewellers in the state complained of poor sales on Dussehra, a day customarily associated with good clientele and higher sales of ornaments.
The jewellers claimed that rocketing prices deterred people from purchasing gold and, unlike in the previous years when residents were seen visiting stores to buy gold as it is considered auspicious, this year there was no such a scene.
Average sales during the festival fell 20 per cent compared to the previous year, the jewellers said.
“This is the second straight fall witnessed during a major festival, as the first slump was seen during Ganesh Chaturthi,” a jeweller claimed, adding that weak consumer sentiments towards gold during a festival as important as Dussehra is an ominous trend for the future.
Gold price ruled above Rs 39,330 per 10 gram in the state for 24-carat on Tuesday, and the steep price saw a few customers interested in making purchases.
All jewellery shops opened early for customers and were heavily decorated with marigold flowers for Dussehra.
“Dussehra sets the trend for buying in festive season, especially for Diwali. But the festival sale this time has not been encouraging compared to last year,” managing director of Ulhas Jewellers Vikram Verlekar said.
He said that Dussehra sales were about 15 per cent down for his outlet.
“Usually demand increases due to wedding season and festivals such as Diwali and Dussehra, when buying is considered as auspicious. The rate of 24-carat gold has crossed Rs 39,000 per 10 gram over the week. High price of gold has dampened the festive mood of customers,” he said.
Most jewellers, including Verlekar, are offering discount as high as 25 per cent on gold and flat 20 per cent on diamond jewellery.
But it did not enthuse the consumers.
Verlekar said, “The jewellery industry has been going through tough times due to the demand slowdown and increase in the custom duty on gold to 12.5 per cent.”
Some jewellers explained that sales of diamond jewellery is faring better compared to gold as consumer preference has changed.
Youngsters prefer diamond jewellery, Verlekar said.
Overall gold prices have been high in 2019 as compared to the previous year.
On August 27, 2019, gold rate scaled the height – a six-year high of over Rs 40,000 per 10 gram for 24 carat.
The gold rate hit a new peak of Rs 40,160 on August 29.
The rate hike was on the back of firm uptrend over a period of four months during 2019. Since then gold price has eased very little and not enough to enthuse buyers.