On 15 August 2017, Reliance’s jewellery arm, Reliance Jewels, completed one decade in the Indian jewellery retail industry. The brand, which aims to be the ‘Jeweller of Choice’ for every woman, says its ideology is to celebrate every moment like an occasion rather than waiting for an occasion to celebrate.
The core values and USP of the brand is the fact that the people behind it understand that jewellery buying is moment driven. “Reliance Jewels always invites its consumers to celebrate small moments of life with our unique jewellery collection. We offer a complete range of gold and diamond jewellery for every moment of life,” says CEO, Reliance Jewels, Sunil Nayak.
The Thought Behind Reliance Jewels
Nayak says the brand’s primary target is aged between 25 and 35 years. “Our target audience consists of women who are aspirational with a clear vision of life, whether personal, professional or family oriented; working women or home maker, recognized and admired amongst peers and in society, well informed, knowledgeable, independent and empowered women who are modern and yet, rooted to their traditions. They are in tune with latest trends,” he explains.
Reliance, with this brand, has touched the pulse of the consumer who has a penchant for the finer things in life and wants her personality, attitude and stature to reflect in what she wears.
“The idea is to give the consumer a brand that is premium and speaks about and defines her, something that makes her stand out in the crowd, and something that will make people stop and take notice thus boosting her confidence,” says Nayak.
The brand offers extensive collections of gold and diamond ranging from traditional designs originating from various cultures to contemporary and modern styles. Adding to this is a range of exclusive solitaires and stylish silver jewellery.
“We also host exclusive and unique collections that are designed in-house by a team of dedicated designers as also by renowned jewellery designers exclusively for Reliance Jewels,” adds Nayak.
Shift in Market Dynamics
Jewellery are higher ticket fashion purchases and while it used to be true that their shopping peaks in the wedding and festive seasons, such is not the case anymore. Nayak says the brand is noticing a shift with more frequent shopping for other occasions, parties, birthdays, and anniversaries.
“India is a unique country in which festivals and weddings are associated with jewellery buying as per customs and traditions. Jewellery buying no doubt peaks during these occasions. However, with the ‘uber-isation’ of India, people have now started looking at jewellery differently. From being a sentiment driven adornment, jewellery is slowly moving towards becoming a fashion accessory. Indians are slowly looking to imbibe jewellery, especially diamond jewellery in their routine life. In fact, jewellery does compete with other products like electronics also now for the share of customers wallet,” he explains.
“There has been an increase in demand for special light weight, every day, work wear and lower karat age jewellery that has made jewellery buying an everyday affair and not restricted to just occasions,” he adds.
While there has been a change in the consumption pattern over the years, it would not right to say that it is equally spread throughout the year. Over the years the festive and occasion based purchases have been supplemented by a gradual and steady increase in non-occasion driven purchases. These purchases have been powered by macro-economic factors like rise in disposable income of the ever-growing middle class, which is becoming ever more affluent and one that strives to fulfil their aspirations. And to this ever so risk-averse group, putting money in gold jewellery is also a safe and secure ‘investment’.
“Another factor that impacts jewellery purchase is fluctuations in price of the precious metal. A sudden upsurge or drop in prices adversely impacts jewellery buying – in the event of upsurge, there is a belief that there will be a price correction and bodes well to await the correction before purchasing. Similarly, when prices drop, a further drop is expected result of which there is temporary slack in purchase,” says Nayak.
Change in Frequency in Jewellery Buying
The fashion quotient of the Indian consumer has undergone a vast sea change and continues to do so at a very rapid pace. Jewellery, being an accessory, too has undergone a drastic change both in terms of look and feel to the colour. While the bigger pieces continue to dominate the wedding day space, light and trendy pieces in colours apart from yellow with delicate and cutting edge contemporary designs are being purchased in larger numbers to go as accessories for the modern dressing ladies. This too is adding to the frequency of purchase of jewellery.
Despite these obvious shifts in marketplace dynamics, Nayak admits that the third quarter of every year (ie September – December) contributes a significant percentage of the brand’s overall annual sales, since these months are associated with ‘Dhanteras’ and the wedding season.
Other major festivals like Akshay Tritya which is in April or May, and Diwali in October/November and all regional festivals see a spurt in footfalls. However the tickets size may not be commensurate with the footfalls as consumers tend to opt for tokens of auspiciousness. Personal occasions like weddings in the family are dominated by high ticket size purchases.
“As an economy we have not yet completely evolved to the point of making jewellery purchase a recurring habit. With the changing trends of jewellery purchases, demands for unique designs that can be flaunted, and rising trend of theme based collections etc. has started showing a change in purchasing patterns. We expect this to become the norm as time goes by,” says Nayak.
Reliance Jewels is looking at expansion within the country at an exponential rate – both in the shop-in-shop (SIS) format as also stand alone showroom format across major cities in the country.
“We are currently looking at consolidating and deriving maximum efficiencies and efficacy from within the country to start off with and as such expansion in the overseas markets is not on the cards as of yet. Our focus will be on cities and states where we are already present to derive the economies of scale,” says Nayak.
He says that the focus will be on opening stores in malls, although the brand will consider popular high streets in areas where there are no malls.
As on August 31, 2017, Reliance Jewels has 51 showrooms across 37 cities in India, and three SIS format stores in two cities.
“Our SIS formats include Reliance Jewels kiosks in Project Eve stores,” says Nayak.
“We follow a very transparent customer friendly pricing policy across both Gold and Diamonds. Our Gold rates and making charges thereof are highly competitive and we conduct regular market surveys to maintain our competitive edge,” says Nayak.
On the brand’s Omnichannel strategy, he admits that there is none, but assures that Reliance Jewels in working on one.
“This is a work in progress as of now. However, be rest assured that we will share the outcome at the appropriate time,” he concludes.