India's economy has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The jewelry industry, like many others, has been hit hard by a long list of canceled or postponed meetings, exhibitions, and weddings in the coming months. Because of the pandemic, markets in all industries have been affected. Fear pertaining to the spread of the virus and contracting the disease has brought the country's jewelry industry to a halt, with retailers reporting lower footfall even when the lockdowns were lifted for a short period in between the first and the second wave. At the same time, retailers are hoping that as the pandemic fades, the wedding season will kick off, and they will be able to compensate for missed revenues.
Owing to the industry's inertia, various investment paths that have not been pursued have resulted in a significant currency crisis. Before the pandemic, the companies were booming due to constant demand but now the industry has been severely disrupted all over the world. The closure of physical retail stores around the world has had a major effect on the gems and jewelry industry. Another factor that contributes to the plight is the industry’s labor-constrained and export-oriented character. Manufacturers and suppliers are in a pickle because they have a surplus, and the impending times reflect just a sliver of hope for recovery.
On the upside, it allowed jewelers to reflect on their projects, plan a future strategy, and concentrate on how to make this step exciting and creative for customers. It will be necessary to establish new rules and social norms as resuming operations in the middle of a pandemic necessitate a great deal of forethought and determination, as this epidemic is yet to be cured. When the shops reopen, there will be some shifts in the jewelry industry. With purchasers becoming more confident transacting online for almost every product category, including jewelry, jewelry brands that previously lacked an online presence have begun to invest in their digital presence, in full steam.
Though the slower months did have a great impact on sales, it did also alongside open an opportunity window to address contemporary lightweight jewels for daily wear and gifting. With lesser disposable income owing to the disruption in the economic cycle, adversely affecting profits and incomes, customers who still wished to purchase jewels opted for lesser value and higher utility items. This same category works extremely well in the gifting segment as well. So be it for presents for loved ones, or for a feeling of self-pampering, this category has won favor in these times.
However, post-the-lockdown, the upcoming festival and wedding seasons will undoubtedly aid in the revival of domestic gem and jewelry sales. Concentrating on the selling of low-cost, high-value-added jewelry, through e-commerce would help to create demand while also improving the profit margins.
If the curfews/ restrictions are lifted, the jewelry industry must ensure that its vast workforce gradually returns to work assisting the economy's engine to restart. In order to do so, the industry would need to ensure work availability and job protection. Maintaining manufacturing operations for the next two to three months will be critical, and most companies will need to save cash on hand to survive. As a result, in addition to government measures, the industry should group together to assist and protect the valuable human capital, joining hands to enliven the jewelry industry in the post-pandemic world.