Dhanteras is known to push the sale of metal items and white goods. People buy gold, silver, household items and even simple utensils depending on their budget. The main point is to buy something that is made of metal. With the changing social structure in India, the idea of Dhanteras is also changing. It is not only about buying something that is made of metal but about buying something new. In West Bengal, Dhanteras and Durga puja are celebrated consecutively and a rise in sale of various items can be noticed.
The market of utensils is a little different from that of gold or silver or precious stones. There are certain superstitions that affect the market. According to prevalent customs, it is inauspicious to bring home products made of iron on Dhanteras. So if anyone wants to buy iron utensils, then they opt to do it the day before. This is also applicable for steel utensils. Buying utensils is an important part of Dhanteras celebration.
The cookware market in India is estimated to be in the range of $320 – $360 million out of which kitchen accessories market is about 18%. The market is highly unorganised with organised players accounting for only 35% to 40% of the market share. According to some of leading players in the utensils sector, the market looks gloomy. According to them, demonetisation has had little impact but the trend of buying utensils is not that good this year. According to a businessman from the Lake Market in Kolkata, people buy new utensils during the festival season. However, during last Dhanteras, the sale of precious metals fell short of expectations. But the sale of automobiles and electronic goods rose. In 2016, copper and brass prices had gone down by 30%, whereas the prices of steel were 10% less than the average.
Aluminium and Aluminium Articles falls under HSN code chapter 76 of GST commodity tariff schedule. Utensils have 12% GST rate. Manufacturing and sale of all kinds of iron and steel like iron rods, bars, and scraps of iron and steel etc. are charged at the rate of 18%. Different rates have been provided for different kind of articles made of iron or steel. This is making confusion for both the buyers and sellers. That is why the business of this sector is lagging a little bit at this moment.
Total retail market of home décor in India is around $17.13 billion and the market is growing at 12-13% and is expected to be worth $24.05 billion by 2017. This festive season is witnessing a pick in sales for the home décor sector. Though most international players are confident and bullish about the future, domestic players are concerned about sluggish and subdued Indian market conditions.
The Indian government’s “Housing for all by 2022” scheme is likely to see construction of over 30 million new homes over the next eight years and will certainly provide a major boost to demand for home textiles, furnishing, home décor and houseware products. The online shopping trend has also put pressure on the offline market. Technology-driven and online sales together indicate an over 100% growth in last year’s Dhanteras.
Online plays a big role
People want products from reputed brands within pocket-friendly budget whenever, where ever they are. The traditional local stores are not always capable of catering to the population with all these requirements. The online players are able to provide huge discounts. But sometimes, products may not be as is shown in the website. Here after-sale services of return, replacement, and refund matk out the good websites from the bad and often determine customer loyalty. Antara Roy who works in an advertisement agency in Kolkata, ordered a presser cooker online that worked perfectly. On the other hand, Soumi Mukherjee, another working lady from Kolkata, ordered a wide-mouthed cooking vessel and received the wrong product. Sunetra Dasgupta, a homemake, and her husband went to the market and bought all furnishing products for their house. She wanted to feel the product beforing buying it. Her husband said that when they bought lamp shades, they asked for a demo first, when they bought light weight curtains, they checked the size and quality. But many prefer the convenience of online shopping.
This has affected the Dhanteras offline market. The Big Billion Day sale from Flipkart, Great Indian Festival offer by Amazon and Diwali sale by Snapdeal and Paytm have been huge successes. Flipkart attracted 20 million visitors in just the first 19 hours of ‘The Big Billion Days’ sale, a spokesperson of India’s largest etailer said. It had sold a million products in the first 10 hours of the sale. They are confident that over time Big Billion Days will emerge as one of world’s biggest online shopping event. For the consumers, this is the best season to buy.