With COVID-19 cases increasing with each passing day, markets across all the sectors have been affected because of this pandemic. India’s jewellery industry has also been affected because of the virus outbreak. We started 2020 on a great note, but the past few weeks have changed everything because of coronavirus. The demand has gone down and this pain has started to deepen as the lockdown continues. The lockdown which was the need of the hour, in the interest of people, was sudden and in the month of March which is the financial year-end affecting targets and the actual business. Also, March is the month which involves the final keeping of the book of accounts, which is delayed, all of this having a huge impact on all businesses, including Jewellery.
The industry was already facing challenges in the form of customs duties, fall in exports, amongst others. The sudden rise in pricing had already resulted in a drop in sales in the past few months. The outbreak of coronavirus will further lead to huge losses given all the retail stores are shut. Concerns about the virus are growing with each passing day with no footfalls as the stores are not operational due to the outbreak. This is something that we have not experienced before and we also do not have any idea as to when this outbreak will end. This epidemic has taken a toll on everyone’s life. Liquidity in gold has led all customers to raise cash so that it helps them to cover their losses. Our industry is mostly wedding driven but due to the outbreak, most of the events got cancelled, affecting the industry and bringing it to a standstill. Marriage dates are available till the month of July and we do hope that our business will pick as soon as this gets over.
Post Covid Challenges
The challenge for the gem and jewellery industry will continue even after situation stabilises. While we plan on being an important part of the share of the customer's disposable income. We will have to wait for the buyers to settle fora while and allow them to get back to their routine. The consumer demand is expected to take a hit in the next quarter as we are not sure if people are in favour of making any investments in the next three months at least. It will take at least a quarter for things to stabilize. It will happen in time as the gems and jewellery sector is dependent on a lot of things besides the disposable income like rituals, traditions, festivals, amongst others. Till then, it is essential for us to sit tight, lower our expenses and maximize our business in the current situation. Post the lockdown, it will surely take some time for the situation to get better and we can expect gold prices to increase for a while. The fear of this outbreak has also created a negative environment for the customers as it has also impacted festivities and occasions. However, we do expect that once COVID-19 subsides, customers will begin their wedding preparations and the demand for gold will surely surge. There will be slowing in the buying segment initially post the outbreak for a few weeks. However, in the time to come, we expect the customers to buy gold as it starts showing an upward trend.
We are taking all necessary steps to make sure the situation is under control and focus on recovering from this epidemic. It is a very unstable market at this moment and the entire world is going through anxiety, as a result of which everything is getting affected. Once the lockdown is lifted, we do have hope for everything to get back to normal. It is important to utilize this time to work on various strategies and initiatives for the customers and be as productive as possible. We are focussing on how we can make this phase exciting and innovative for the customers. It is important to instil confidence in the consumers. However, we do hope that once everything is back to normal, we expect customers to start making investments in this segment and buy jewellery for themselves and their loved ones.