ON TUESDAY, the announcement taking high-value currency out of circulation had led to a rush of buyers to gold and jewellery outlets. By Wednesday, some of these outlets had sold out while others stopped accepting such notes.
Tanishq outlets in Delhi’s South Extension and a mall in Saket saw unprecedented sales overnight. Shivani Narayan, who went to South Extension Wednesday morning, said the gold jewellery section was sold out. “Initially we saw several customers coming in with wads of cash stacked in bags, almost pleading with the storekeepers to sell them gold. There was such a commotion that the floor manager had to intervene,” she said.
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In Vasant Kunj, the owner of an outlet who refused to be named said, “We kept the store open till late last night but since morning we have had to turn away customers coming in with invalid cash.”
In Pune, jewellery stores were flooded with calls as well as customers wishing to buy gold with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. “We turned down these customers. Though it is a good move by the government, there’s hardly any business now,” said Yogesh Shah, senior manager of Chandukaka Saraf and Sons Pvt. Ltd.
Kishor Sandesa of Krishna Jewellers said it was a unique situation where customers are willing to buy but stores can’t sell. “There is no business at all,” he added.
In Gujarat, the gold industry estimated a 70 per cent slump in sales. “Due to this announcement close to 70 per cent of the business has been hampered in jewellery as this business cannot function on notes of smaller currencies,” said Shanti Patel, president of the Gem and Jewelry Trade Council of India (GJTCI) & president of Gujarat Chapter of India Bullion & Jewellers Association. “Most jewellers did no transactions. Around 5 per cent branded shops had done brisk business Tuesday night in Ahmedabad, but bullion traders did not do much business.”