29 Feb 2020
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The Growing Network of Asian Jewellers in London
London Jewellery Retail - Analysis
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 24 2019 4:05PM
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Reference: 22557  

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Jewellery displayed in Southhall Store
Jewellery displayed in Southhall Store
Proactive jewellers such as Naveen Kumar of Ra-mesh Jewellers and Kishan Kumar of Taj Jewels have worked meticulously on the jewellery that they retail. Both of them have their stores on The Broadway in Southall. More than half of the retail area at Taj Jewels is allotted to diamond jewellery. The Ramesh Jewellers’ store has all the jewellery that the Asian bride would look for.
Sunil Babber of Ram Prakash Sunderdass & Sons (RPS) Jewellers in Southall is a leading player in the UK. The secret of his success is in the quality of relationship that he enjoys with his customers, business acumen and foresight.

Explaining the Punjabi psyche, he explained to me the importance of jewellery in their weddings. Weddings are occasions where the entire family gets an opportunity to display their wealth and status.
A Punjabi from India or Pakistan has similar tastes. The joint family spirit is thriving among the Pakistanis It is more so because of economic compulsions. Most Pakistanis have small businesses. Living in a joint family has its advantages. Costs get shared and the closely knit members help each other. Weddings are occasions where they do not hold back and splurge on jewellery buying. The investment angle is predominant in their purchase.

Talking about the Indian consumers, Sunil said that the new generation Indians are well educated. They are earning good money in their professions and corporate careers. They are setting up nuclear families and moving away from Southall to other localities for a better quality of life.

RPS jewellers have expanded their business to London’s diamond district located at Hatton Gardens. This commercial area is in the Holborn district has over 800 diamond merchants involved in the wholesale and retail of diamonds and diamond jewellery. Hatton Garden was once dominated by the Jewish community. It now has a sizable presence of Indian businessmen. Sunil’s son Sameer Babber looks after the retailing business at Hatton gardens. Their two outlets Abrahams and RPS diamonds are among the prominent stores.

Vivek Khandelwal Director of Emdico London Limited has an office in the building that is aptly called 100 Hatton Garden. The name ‘Emdico’ is derived from ‘EM’erald ‘DI’amond ‘CO’mpany and originates from the company’s early focus and specialty in supplying high quality Emeralds and Diamonds to gemstone dealers and jewellery manufacturers in the UK. Emdico has production facility in Mumbai and workshops in London & Italy.

Explaining the prevailing situation in the jewellery industry, Vivek opined that the sale of diamond jewellery has been affected. The middle and low priced segment comprises of customers who buy diamonds & jewellery for gifting and as fashion accessory. Increase in price of diamonds has resulted in customers looking for alternatives such as watches and mobile phones.

Dilip Sekhawat of Rosin Jewels is a leading wholesaler of gold and diamond jewellery in the UK. They have sourcing offices in BDB and Italy. According to him, the depreciation of Sterling Pound and the fluctuating gold prices have impacted the gold jewellery business. This has resulted in consumers buying less gold during weddings. In the UK, the burglaries have increased and keeping gold at home has become risky. The fact that the young consumers are losing interest in gold jewellery is well documented. To address the concerns of the industry, British Asian jewellers are setting up an autonomous networking, lobbying and educational forum comprising members who are interested in the British Asian jewellery market and doing business with Asia. The jewellers are currently crafting a constitution for a so-called British Asian Jewellers’ Alliance (BAJA), expected to comprise mainly UK-based retailers and wholesalers with business and family ties to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Turkey and other countries. The British Asian jewellery market is believed to account for more than 2 percent of total UK jewellery turnover, and is a high-value segment of the market due to British Asian tastes for 22- and 18-carat gold jewellery.

“BAJA will welcome anyone interested in the British Asian market whatever their background and will be completely autonomous,” said Mehul Lodhiya, owner of wholesaler Nysa Creations and one of the architects of BAJA. Jayant Raniga of Pure Jewels and David Brough, editor of Jewellery Outlook complete the trio of BAJA architects.

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