Customers ‘mob’ goldsmiths

Willing to wait: People queuing up to enter a jewellery shop at Jalan Masjid India. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KLANG: Indian jewellers here are being “mobbed” by customers with the market price of gold having dropped drastically.

There is an additional reason for the craze at the Little India area in Jalan Tengku Kelana – the price of gold going for RM222 per gram, which is much lower compared with other areas.

S. Nadarajah Pather & Son Jewellery & Gems Sdn Bhd director Kughaan Supramaniam Pather said jewellery shops in Little India were overwhelmed with customers since the market price of the precious metal plummeted to RM222.

“People have been coming in non-stop to the point that we have run out of receipt books!’’ he said.

He said many people had not been able to buy gold items since the first movement control order last year with shops closed.

He said the price was at about RM270 when businesses reopened under the recovery MCO later, adding that sales had been poor back then as weddings were also not allowed.

“With weddings being held now, many are buying gold ornaments and making orders for thali (wedding necklace) from us, ’’ he said.

Adding to the rush here are people from elsewhere flocking to Klang to buy jewellery, now that inter-district travel is allowed.

“Indian jewellers nationwide have a gentleman’s agreement that gold will be a ringgit cheaper in Klang than in Kuala Lumpur.

“It is also a ringgit cheaper in Penang than in Klang. So, it will be RM223 in Kuala Lumpur and RM221 in Penang, ’’ he said, adding that the price difference matters if customers buy more items.

He said the price in the central region such as in Perak would be about RM15 to RM20 higher than in Klang, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

“It will also be RM15 to RM20 higher in Johor, in tandem with Singapore prices, ’’ he said.

Thangaram Jewellers director Devan Raman said his outlet had been packed to the brim since the market price of gold dipped.

“Most coming to our outlets are buying wedding jewellery, even if the marriages are scheduled for later, ’’ he said.

Malay-owned jewellery outlets were divided in their pricing.

Kedai Emas Anuar, which has branches in Klang and Shah Alam, is selling at RM222 per gram as is the case with Indian jewellers.

Noradila Yusof, who is with the Klang branch, said her management decided to stick to RM222 after the market price dropped.

The manager of Shah Alam-based Kedas Emas Noura, Shazrul Rosprisli, said his outlet had taken the “middle path” and fixed the price at RM240.

In Johor Baru, jewellery shops also saw an increase in customers.

A sales assistant in one of the outlets, Tuah Muhammad D’zulharith Mohd Noor, 22, said the number of customers coming in was significantly higher now.

“We reopened on March 5 after it was announced that Johor came under the conditional MCO.

“Since then, the number of visitors dropping by has been unusually high as they have been waiting for months to make purchases, ” he said, adding that people preferred investing in gold as it was easier to sell it back if cash was needed.

The owner of another goldsmith shop expects the number of customers to increase in the coming months.

“Those in the higher income bracket will also invest in gold, ” he said.

Teacher Aisyah Maisarah Ismail, 34, said she was interested in buying a gold necklace.

“I have yet to decide if I am going to apply for i-Sinar withdrawal but if I do, I will use a portion of the money to buy a gold necklace. I believe this will help me in the long run as I will have something to fall back on in times of need, ” she said.

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