After a soft launch using billboards and newspapers, Trendsmith intends to launch a major promotion in early March at its Loudon Street showroom in central Kolkata. The promotion shall see the signature line of Nirmal Zaveri for the first time.
The opening of Trendsmith is part of the new trend to sell branded jewellery with a difference. Rather than have a singe brand of its own, Trendsmith is designed as a department store that provides a platform for designers to showcase their creations.
A part of the Mumbai-based Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) group, Trendsmith was conceived after realizing the fact that “the fragmented jewellery industry had been unable to keep pace with the changes in the market, as related to women’s preferences and needs,” says Trendsmith President, Dharmesh Sodah.
According to Sodah, “The intention is to set a trend in marketing and displaying jewellery nationally. Our aim is to set up 50 outlets within six years.”
The first Trendsmith store was opened in Mumbai in 2001, followed by outlets in Chandigarh, Chennai, Bangalore, and Kolkata. Delhi will have its first Trendsmith outlet this month.
Wouldn’t designer jewellery mean higher prices? Is it prudent in the price-sensitive Kolkata market? “We want to clear the misconception that associates designer products with high prices. In fact, our showrooms will actually give you quality products at prices far more competitive than other outlets, since we are using manufacturers who are sight-holders for the Diamond Trading Company (De Beers) and are into cutting, polishing and exporting of diamonds. These include the Gitanjali group, Dimexon, and K P Sanghvi. Besides, what we offer will be a cut above the rest, since the designs have been exclusively created for Trendsmith,” replies Sodah.
The entry of big names like TBZ and Syndicate Jewellers in the organized segment has seen Titan launch a new promotional scheme where customers buying diamond jewellery worth Rs 5,000 earns a gold coin. Going by the baseline - Buy diamonds and win gold, the scheme will run from January 23 to February 29. Devised to cash in on the current trend to acquire diamonds, the Rs 350 crore company has introduced a range of studded designs. Titan has also refocused on its Golden Harvest Savings scheme, which was launched in 2001. Under the scheme, a person can deposit Rs 500 or multiples of it at any Titan Tanishq showroom for a year or 18 months and earn an extra amount above the money deposited. This amount can then be used to buy a piece of jewellery. In case of any one moving out of the city, the money is transferred to another part of the country.
According to a senior Titan Tanishq official overseeing the company’s business operations in the eastern region, the company’s sales turnover has grown by 40 per cent since it introduced the Golden Harvest. Currently, the company has been clocking 35 per cent of its total sales in the north, 30 per cent in the west, 28 per cent in the south and 20 per cent in the east.
Notwithstanding the spate of new jewellery showrooms in Kolkata, Titan does not perceive much of a threat to its position. “We welcome competition. It makes the market grow - which is ultimately good for us. Besides, it was not as if there was not enough competition. It is just that the jewellery trade was mostly in the unorganized sector. But even with more organized players moving in, Titan is the only major national player with 66 showrooms spread over 51 locations. In Kolkata itself, we have 3 showrooms,” says Business Executive Anirban Banerjee, who oversees the sales operations of the eastern region.
Big names in Kolkata such as M P Jewellers, Nemichand Bamalwa and Sons, and Diwansons are also on an expansion overdrive, with more showrooms in the offing. Besides, Syndicate Jewellers has already arrived (from Bhubaneshwar and Vishakhapatnam) with the city’s biggest jewellery showroom on Camac Street. Titan will have to be on its toes in the face of such competition.