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At Gold Souk, all that glitters will be gold

30-July-2004
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At Gold Souk, all that glitters will be gold

‘Souk’ may sound Arabic to you, but the Aerens Group has planned to give it an Indian touch. Gold Souk, an exclusive jewellery mart in Gurgaon, bordering Delhi, will open its doors to customers on October 14. The mall will provide customers access to jewellery from all regions of the country under one roof. And for jewellers it promises to be a world-class retail platform.

Architect's model of the Gold Souk mall coming up in Gurgaon.

The Aerens Group, one of Delhi’s leading real estate developers, is the promoter of Gold Souk. Their projects include AEZ Square (PVR Vikaspuri) and PVR Naraina among others. The group has recently signed up with IMAX group to set up IMAX theatres in north and east India.

“We wanted to make the first day of the Navratris special for people who visit Gurgaon’s malls from Delhi and other nearby satellite towns. That’s why the launch in October,” said Surender Gupta, Chairman, Aerens Group.

As many as 40 jewellers from India as well as from the UK, Italy and Germany have tied up with Gold Souk to showcase their exclusive collection of jewellery. “Gold Souk will offer jewellery from big-time international players such as Alukkas, Dubai, Bholasons, Delhi, Kaaya, Delhi, S.K. Gems, Mumbai, MP Jewellers, Kolkata, among others. The international players include Pious and Varad from the UK, Victoria and Zupnis from Italy and HammerPlus from Germany,” Gupta said. Brands like Nirvana, Cygnus, Agni and Sheetal will also be part of the branded jewellery segment.

“We believe that everybody wants a good life. So we thought that a speciality mall would facilitate customers to enjoy shopping for jewellery and at the same time indulge in other comforts such as food court, salon, lounges, book stores, etc. Not only will there be an array of brands to choose from, it will all be under one roof,” the Aerens chairman said.

Asked about the project cost, Gupta said, “We have spent approximately Rs 100 crore on the Gurgaon project. We have also spent around Rs 10 crore on advertising. Leo Burnett is handling our account and we have followed an aggressive campaign.”

A team comprising international architects like Swanke Hayden Connel, USA, and CP Kukreja and Associates of India has designed the Gold Souk mall in Gurgaon.

Is Gold Souk likely to pose a big challenge to traditional jewellery retailers? Says Subash Bhola, owner of Bholasons, “Yes, we are fully prepared for the competition. We believe that the international jewellery would be a rip-off, so not all customers would like to spend that kind of money. We are already creating international designs at affordable prices. As for south Indian jewellery, they have very simple designs, so we are not really apprehensive about the competition.”

Gold Souk has already chalked out major expansion plans. “We plan to expand to Ludhiana, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kochi,” Gupta said, adding, “We will spread internationally too once we succeed in India.”

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