Diwali is next week and Dhanteras is just a day away, but there seems to be no gold rush this year.
Rising inflation and the effect of soaring gold prices is showing in Delhi's markets with shoppers opting for cheaper items.
Karol Bagh's Bank Street, which is lined with
jewellery shops, remained almost deserted with people choosing to buy kitchenware and consumer durables from nearby markets.
"Gold prices have soared, affecting the sales this year. Shoppers are choosing to buy low-cost items," said Mohit Gupta, director, PP Jewellers.
"We have, therefore, stocked items such as coins weighing half a gram to 100grams. We are offering assured gifts to people on purchase of a certain amount of gold," Gupta added.
The long queues outside the shops seen every year around this time are missing, with more salespersons inside the shops than shoppers.
"Last year, there was no space to stand inside the shop. This time, however, the number of visitors has plummeted. We have come up with various offers to attract buyers but the response has not been good," said a salesperson with a leading jewellery shop. Shoppers shared similar views.
"Usually when festivals are around the corner, we look forward to shop gold, be it jewellery or gold coins and bars. But the prices have increased so much it is difficult to buy gold. We decided to buy a small coin and bought crockery and electrical appliances instead," said Suman Singh, a resident of Dwarka.
Those selling consumer durables said they had done better business last year, though they had fared better than jewellery shops. "Our sales are down by nearly 50%," a shopkeeper said.
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