Jewelry stores experience low attendance despite festival season
Hyderabad: The city’s gold and jewelry store owners continue to struggle and are in dire financial straits due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in a severe financial crisis. The industry is witnessing limited shopping in Hyderabad stores despite the peak wedding and party season.
Demand for gold in Hyderabad has plunged since the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown hit the company. The return of migrant labor and the incomes of those affected (due to job losses) have also made it difficult for companies to survive even today.
The consequences of the COVID-19 shutdown on the jewelry industry here have raised serious concerns among store owners.
“The pandemic has hit small store owners the most, as well-established city owners say the market is showing small signs of recovery from the impact of the two waves of covid,” said the jewelers director of Mohammed Khan, Mokhtiyar Ahmed. He added that the gold and jewelry market is slowly growing.
“Two months ago, the situation was quite grim compared to the days before the pandemic. The business is still down 10-15%, ”he said. siasat.com.The situation has been so bad for some that gold dealers even have to return the jewelry they buy from goldsmiths due to low customer traffic.
When shop owners or merchants do not pay the goldsmiths, they are forced to return the gold jewelry to the makers. Balaji Biredar, who owns a small store called Balaji Jewelers in Attapur, said his business was still down 40-45% from what it was at the start of 2020. As a result, he had to lay off 30% of its workforce, which mainly includes goldsmiths.
Even three months after the easing of the second COVID-19 lockdown (imposed in May), Hyderabad’s famous gold ornament industry in the Old City is still struggling to get back on its feet. Thousands of goldsmiths who left for their home countries (to states like West Bengal) over the past year and this year’s lockdown have also not returned to work due to the uncertainty and declining demand.
In Telangana, the goldsmith’s workforce is made up of migrant workers from West Bengal who mainly resided in Ghansi Bazaar, Gulzar Houz near Charminar, jewelers from Hyderabad said. Sunil Agarwal, vice president of the Telangana Jewelers Association for the southern zone, said only 50% of migrant goldsmith workers have returned to the city after the lockdown was eased this year.
Typically, during the Dussera and Diwali festival seasons, gold and jewelry stores witness an increase in customer purchases. Many stores make the most of their profits during festival season.