Kolkata, May 27 : 37 per cent of Indian women have never bought gold jewellery in the past but would consider buying it in the future, presenting a significant potential audience for retail jewellers to capture, according to the World Gold Council’s ‘Retail Gold Insights: India Jewellery’ report. 60 per cent of Indian women already own gold jewellery; it is the second most popular item among ‘fashion and lifestyle’ shoppers – preceded only by designer clothes/silk sarees. India’s cultural identity is greatly intertwined with gold: it is widely referenced in ancient scripts, features heavily in religious iconography and is integral to auspicious occasions, traditions, and wedding ceremonies.
It is deeply valued, both for its cultural ties and inherent worth, as well as for being a provider of security and a symbol of prosperity, passed on for generations. Gold jewellery is the second most popular item they own when compared against a range of other fashion and lifestyle products. 60 per cent of women own gold jewellery – second only to designer clothes/sarees. And 40 per cent had bought gold jewellery in the preceding 12-month period, eclipsing purchases of diamond or platinum jewellery. Nevertheless, the gold industry has an opportunity to reach a significant new audience: 37 per cent of Indian women are potential buyers, representing a sizable new target audience for the gold jewellery industry. 44% of rural respondents fell into this category, compared with 30% of urban respondents. Rural and urban consumers share positive attitudes towards gold but for different reasons: Urban women tend to focus on the sense of security that gold brings, highlighting its role as a display of wealth as well as a store of value. Rural Indian women place greater emphasis on gold’s widespread acceptability and its aspirational qualities, viewing it as a means of commanding respect.
Gold jewellery purchases are commonly driven by a need for financial value and ease: Indian women report that gold meets the criteria of their ideal product choice as it is durable, a good financial investment and/or family heirloom, socially acceptable and offers a straightforward retail experience. But gold is not currently meeting the significant needs for self-expression and prestige: Gold is not resonating with the desire for self-expression and prestige when it comes to factors that motivate fashion and lifestyle buying. Younger women need specific engagement: although many young women are active gold jewellery consumers (33 per cent of Indian women aged 18-24 bought gold jewellery in the 12 months preceding the survey) their future purchase intent is low, particularly in the urban cohort. They are less emotionally connected to gold jewellery and this represents a potential future threat. Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council, commented, “India’s jewellery market is world-leading in the skills of its artisans, who craft the most elaborate and decorative pieces that adorn the nation’s women. But the industry needs to be alert to the changing times. " (UNI)