The gold showrooms and malls in the city were buzzing with people during Dasara and Deepavali. The yellow metal has been the favourite of Indians, be it for special occasions like weddings and festivals or as a safe investment option.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, followed by the lockdown in March and the subsequent restrictions on movement of people, loss of jobs and economic crisis made gold merchants wonder whether there would be any sales during the festival season.
“While we cannot say that there was a surge in sales, the rush of customers from Dasara festival to Deepavali was encouraging. Though there is a temporary lull during the past few days, we expect good demand till January 2021. This is because there are no wedding ‘muhurtams’ after January,” says J. Raghunath, General Manager (marketing) of Vaibhav Jewellers.
“Due to the COVID-19 impact, there were hardly any sales during the past several months. Customers had postponed their purchases. The opening up of the economy, festival season and more importantly, most of the wedding ‘muhurtams’ falling during the Karthika masam, seem to have contributed to the rise in sales,” he says.
“We (gold merchants) were worried as there were barely any customers for several months as most people remained indoors and went out only for their daily needs like vegetables and provisions. This Dasara and Deepavali revived our hopes and we are optimistic that the wedding season will ensure the growth in sales till January 2021,” says Ranjit Kumar, MD of Sanghvi Jewellers.
“Most of the gold showrooms in the city are selling hallmarked gold ornaments. Hallmarking is a safeguard for consumers. Though it is voluntary at present, with effect from June 1, 2021, hallmarking is made mandatory for all gold ornaments,” says B. Sandhya, Head, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Visakhapatnam.