Virus fear speeds up gold buyers’ shift to chain stores

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NEW DELHI: The world’s worst coronavirus outbreak is changing the way Indians buy gold, hastening a shift to modern, retail stores.
While buyers have been slowly shifting away from the thousands of family-run jewelry shops that control the bulk of the world’s second-biggest gold market, the pandemic has sped up the process, according to Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director at Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd.
“We have seen in the last quarter that the shift has become very, very steep,” he said in an interview. “We saw a lot of first-time customers coming into the stores, about 50% more than a year before. In this Covid scenario, people don’t want to go to crowded streets and small shops and instead they prefer standalone stores like Kalyan.”
India has been reeling under a deadly second wave that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure and lifted official Covid death…

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