Tanishq incentivizes wedding shoppers

NEW DELHI :
India’s top jewellery retailer Tanishq on Tuesday said it will incentivize wedding shoppers with a new jewellery purchase plan at the onset of India’s wedding season that was pushed back by several months due to covid-related restrictions.

The company has introduced a new plan for its wedding-focussed sub-brand Rivaah to help shoppers plan their purchases better at a time when high gold prices and covid-related restrictions are weighing heavy on consumer demand.

India families save for years to spend on weddings with purchase of gold being a significant planned expense. In fact, weddings generate approximately 50% of annual gold demand here, according to the World Gold Council.

The Rivaah Aashirwaad programme will incentivize customers by enrolling them in a monthly plan which is structured in a way that offers better value for money compared to spot purchase, the company said on Tuesday.

Towards the end of the redemption cycle, shoppers will also be able to avail some benefits—including discounts on making charges, Ajoy Chawla, CEO, Jewellery Division, Titan Company Ltd., told reporters on Tuesday.

“We see that the purchase of jewellery is a very involved and well-planned affair. And we’ve been seeing that in our stores, we’ve had requests from customers saying why don’t you enable this by helping us to plan it in a better manner. So, we came out with the Rivaah Aashirwaad plan, which helps the family to procure jewellery in a systematic manner,” Chawla who heads the 350-outlet strong retailer, said.

Titan Company Ltd’s jewellery arm Tanishq entered the wedding market in 2017—with the launch of Rivaah.

Tanishq’s wedding jewellery contribution to the overall business stood at 24% in the first two months of the third quarter, similar to last year’s levels, said Chawla.

India’s jewellery retailers have been in a bind as the impact of higher gold prices during the year as well as the impact of the lockdown and delayed weddings impacted sales in stores in the first half of the year.

In the September quarter, overall gold demand declined 30%; while total jewellery demand in India dropped 48% to 52.8 tonnes from 101.6 tonnes in the year-ago period, according to estimates by the World Gold Council. In India, gold demand, however, picks up in the fourth quarter as festivities and weddings help aid sales.

Retailers saw some uptick in demand in the festive period aided by demand for wedding jewellery.

Last month, Titan Company informed the exchanges that its jewellery business witnessed a mid-teens growth (around 15%) for the 30-day festive season starting from Dussehra till Diwali over the corresponding period last year, with a decent recovery in studded jewellery sales.

Chawla said the demand had sustained post Diwali on the back of wedding purchases but warned of a cautious consumer sentiment in the market.

“We are seeing continued interest in the category (wedding jewellery) and growth. I would like to believe that the share of wallet has gone up…anyway, people are not spending money on other events, on travel and destination weddings. And we know that investment in buying clothes has come down, etc. So, overall, I think we are seeing a good growth. The ticket values have gone up—by around 40% for wedding purchases. Part of it is due to gold prices being higher and part of it could indicate perhaps that the share of wallet may have gone up for the people who have bought wedding jewellery from us,” he said.

On future growth outlook, Chalwa said the retailer has moved from a recovery to a growth phase.

“In fact, we are seeing that with gold prices having corrected the sentiment for buying—whether for wedding or otherwise—has continued to remain as strong as it was during the festive period. Festive season growth has sustained post-festive. That’s the best I can say. How things emerge over the rest of the quarter and the next quarter is a function of what happens. So certainly, during the festive season, I can say that we have stopped talking about recovery and we have started talking about growth,” Chawla said.

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