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Jewellers expect Akshaya Tritiya to reap gold

A month after gold slumped to its lowest in over 15 months, jewellers are expecting a rise of 15 to 30 percent in sales during the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya May 13 - given the plethora of offers to woo customers.

Jewellers - online as well as those selling through brick-and-mortar stores - hope for brisk business around the Hindu festival when purchase of gold or other valuables is considered to bring good fortune. It is also said to be one of the most auspicious days for Hindu marriages.

"Last year we saw 25 to 30 transactions on this day. This year we are offering huge discounts and promotions and expect the sales to go up by at least 25 to 30 percent," Gaurav S. Issar, CEO, JewelsNext.com, told agency.

The perennial appetite of customers for gold pushes up sales of the yellow metal by 10 to 15 percent on Akshaya Tritiya, said Suvankar Sen, executive director of Kolkata-based jewellery retailer Senco Gold Ltd.

"The demand is high for both gold jewellery and coins even a day before Akshaya Tritiya. So, gold sales this year will definitely be higher than last year, around 18 to 20 tonnes. We believe business will be good for the industry. I think sales will be high in terms of value and also volume," Sen said.

Economically, the day is productive for marketers as they cash in on the festivity to boost their sales.

"Marketers indulge in high voltage advertisement campaigns, especially the jewellery stores. Sales on Akshaya Tritiya day usually increase four to five times compared to normal days," added Sen.

Lightweight jewellery is always an option, but gold coins almost top the list of offerings and purchases.

Websites like 21Diamonds have special offers - buy a 20 gram gold coin and get a 10 gram Lakshmi silver coin, gift box, ladies watch, key chain and a pen free. Or, buy an 8 or 10 gram gold coin and get a five gram Lakshmi silver coin, gift box, ladies watch, key chain and a pen free.

There are more such promotional offers to lure customers across online platforms.

Jewelsnext.com has options from 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 50 and 100 gram gold coins.

"Five, eight or 10 gram gold coins see the most sales since people mostly buy in small quantities on Akshaya Tritiya. Also, gold coins are bought as an investment product and require no particular selection; so people prefer to buy conveniently at the click of a mouse rather than rush to the shops in the sweltering heat," said Issar.

But how comfortable is the Indian consumer about purchasing gold online?

"It's as easy as ordering a pizza online," Issar said.

It very well is, if prices continue to be low. Last month, the yellow metal touched Rs.27,600 per 10 gram from an alltime high of Rs.32,500 last September.

"Usually the months of March and April are considered to be low on sales, but this dip in prices, though it was temporary, has brought cheer on the faces of vendors. If these prices remain low, it will be double the sales from last year on Jewelsnext.com during Akshaya Tritiya," Issar said.

The country's largest jewellery retail chain Tanishq, part of Titan Industries, hopes to lure customers by offering a free gold coin on purchase of Titan Nebula watches in 18- karat gold. The offer is valid in select stores across the country.

"We understand the emotion and sentiment linked with gold and Akshaya Trithiya and it is our aim to provide an opportunity for our consumers to own exclusive Tanishq jewellery at better rates along with a free gold coin on every jewellery purchase," Tanishq vice president Sandeep Kulhalli told reporter.