Akshaya Tritiya adds sheen to gold...Sales figures leap up to 100% from last year

Mumbai-India (May 4)  Gold sales jumped up to 100 per cent compared to last year as the Hindu community in the UAE celebrated its second-biggest bullion buying festival of Akshaya Tritiya in the weekend.

Stable and affordable prices coupled with overall positivity in the market helped attract a large number of customers to buy gold, according to top industry players. On Friday, the price of 24-carat gold was in the range of Dh155 to Dh157.75 per gramme.

The festival is considered by the community as an auspicious day to buy precious metals, the reason jewellery shops in the UAE achieved several days of sales targets in just one day — Akshaya Tritiya.

Senior officials from top retailers such as Malabar Gold and Diamonds and Joyalukkas echoed that the UAE and other parts of the GCC, and even India, witnessed a remarkable surge in demand during the festival. Retailers also launched promotional campaigns to lure customers in the UAE and other parts of the GCC.

Malabar Gold launched its “The Great Gold Rush” campaign with a 10kg prize bonanza across the GCC and Singapore. “It was an eleven-day promotion, which concluded [on Saturday] wherein 11 lucky winners from the UAE won a quarter-kilo of gold every day,” managing director of Malabar Gold and Diamond for international operations Shamlal Ahammed told Khaleej Times.

“It was very good this time. In fact compared to last year we had over 100 per cent growth in sales for the GCC and Singapore,” Ahamed added. “We normally sell 45-50 kilogrammes gold per day on average for international operations that include GCC and Singapore, but last Friday we recorded seven to 10 days of sales in a single day,” he said, but declined to provide any final figures of sales.

“We opened seven shops in the UAE in the last 12 months that also helped us to boost sales on increasing footfall. In terms of shop to shop comparison, it was 70 per cent year-on-year growth in sales,” he said.

Other GCC countries also recorded substantial growth in sales, he said, adding that especially Oman and Qatar performed very well. In Saudi Arabia, it was just a sales promotion that also went very well, he added.

Talking about the products in demand, he said coins and bars were 15-20 per cent of total sales as most of the customers still preferred lightweight jewellery, which they can use.

Lightweight jewellery is key driver of volume, he added.

He mentioned that this is an auspicious time for Hindus to buy something and bring “Lakshmy Devi” home. This set tone for the rest of the year, he added.

The Joyalukkas Group, which has 91 stores across the world, also launched special promotional campaigns for the festival in the UAE. “The festival was fantastic compared to last year as we got two weekends — Thursday and Friday. So that’s the reason people were free to buy gold compared to last year,” chairman Joy Alukkas told this scribe over the phone from India.

Talking about the growth in sales, he said it was 18 per cent year-on-year. “Altogether we sold around 800 kilogrammes of gold in the GCC, Singapore and India,” he disclosed. He said that it was the best price compared to last year. Gold is also good for ordinary people as an investment, he added.