Arakkal Gold and Diamonds: Leading the Charge with Modern Designs and Personalised Service

Arakkal Gold and Diamonds’ ascent as a prominent figure in the gold and diamond jewellery industry is characterised by years of dedicated advancement and continual adaptation. Originating from its inaugural store in Thrissur, Kerala, the brand has expanded significantly, establishing a strong presence across the UAE, India, and now Malaysia, while also spearheading diverse ventures within the Arakkal Group.

AFSAL ARAKKAL, Director, Arakkal Gold and Diamonds, shares his views with Solitaire International.

Being new in the retail market what are the opportunities that differentiate your brand from established competitors?

As a new player in the retail jewellery market, our brand is uniquely positioned to capitalise on several distinct opportunities that will set apart from other competitors. Firstly, our emphasis on innovative and contemporary designs cater to the evolving tastes of the younger generation, providing a fresh and modern perspective to traditional jewellery pieces at best price points.

Furthermore, our personalised customer experience and relations sets us apart from competitors by offering bespoke services such as custom designs, jewellery styling consultations, and memorable shopping experiences. This focus on creating meaningful connections with our customers helps us stand out in a crowded market and build long-lasting relationships with our clientele.

Afsal Arakkal, Director, Arakkal Gold and Diamonds.

What are the innovative approaches you get in your business to meet the evolving consumer needs?    

Our brand recognises the importance of staying ahead of evolving consumer needs in the ever-changing marketplace.

One important aspect is that rather than just providing personalisation of jewellery, we understand the importance of reflecting customers style in the best form. We offer designer consultation in each of our stores, and so, can create meaningful connections with our customer and offer products that resonate with their individual style.

To cater and to build an interactive customer base, we have been investing in social media marketing and other services like ‘Try at Home’, to reach a wider audience and engage with customers in new and exciting ways. By embracing cutting-edge technologies with use of AI, we are now able to cater our customers in much more personalised manner, which has helped us to stay ahead of the curve.

How many stores does Arakkal currently have and what are the growth plans for the year 2024.

We currently operate seven stores throughout the UAE, with our flagship store opening in Sharjah during the second quarter of the year. In 2024, we are planning to expand to Southeast Asian and Indian markets for the fourth quarter of 2024 or early 2025.

Tell us more about what kind of jewellery is in demand.

When evaluating jewellery demand across various categories, we must keep in mind the changing consumer preferences, lifestyle changes and more. Retailers must carry out proper marketing research and data analysis to understand customer needs.

In general, we have seen a gradually shift from the heavy jewellery to lifestyle, daily wear jewellery set with diamonds and Italian fashion jewellery in plain gold. We are seeing demand for platinum jewellery for men.

What are the segments that Arakkal Jewellery is catering to? Also are you looking at new manufacturers in different categories?

At Arakkal Gold and Diamond, our major product category is 22-karat studded and plain gold jewellery as well as 18-karat diamond jewellery. At the same time, we are also working to enhance our collection in 18-karat and platinum jewellery, we are looking forward to sourcing from vendors across the globe.

Interiors of one of the showrooms of Arakkal Gold and Diamonds.

What are the consumer preferences and buying behaviour of jewellery buyers? Are they looking global brands?

We’re witnessing a notable transition in customer preferences, moving away from traditional designs towards stylish and sophisticated jewellery that complements their lifestyle. By curating designs sourced and crafted worldwide, we’re adept at aligning with these evolving preferences to offer our customers the finest selection of designs.

Modern customers prioritise value for money over simply purchasing branded jewellery, especially as personalised options are becoming more prevalent—a feature which is not always available in branded offerings. Consequently, they gravitate towards medium-sized boutiques like ours for their jewellery requirements.

How do you see overall sales vis a vis previous year?  

I’m thrilled to share that our business has seen a remarkable 30% sales growth in 2023 compared to the previous year. This substantial increase underscores the dedication and hard work of our team, as well as the growing trust and support from our loyal customers.

The steady growth in sales has allowed us to further expand our reach and offerings, establishing a strong foundation for continued success in the coming year. For the future, we remain focused on innovation, customer satisfaction, and sustainable growth.

What are the types of marketing and promotion strategies that attract and retain customers, thereby boosting sales growth?

In today’s competitive retail landscape, attracting and retaining customers while boosting sales growth requires a strategic and cohesive approach to marketing and promotion. We have implemented a multi-faceted strategy that leverages both social media and direct marketing to engage our target audience and drive sales.

We focus on building a strong online presence through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. We create visually appealing and engaging content that showcases our latest jewellery collections, promotions, and brand values. By actively engaging with our followers, responding to their comments, and incorporating user-generated content, we have been able to create a sense of community and loyalty around our brand.

In addition, we also utilise direct marketing such as WhatsApp campaigns, personalised promotions, and targeted advertising. By segmenting our customer database and tailoring our messaging to specific customer preferences and behaviours, we can deliver relevant and timely offers that drive purchase intent.

Overall, our marketing and promotional efforts at Arakkal are designed to create a seamless omnichannel experience for our customers, both online and offline. By constantly innovating and testing new strategies, we can effectively attract and retain customers, ultimately leading to sustained growth in sales.

As one of the fastest growing young retailers, what are the challenges that you foresee in the coming year and are you planning to combat them? 

The main challenge that a lifestyle jeweller faces is the heightened competition regarding price points. Retailers often find themselves indulging in the price competition, of particularly with the influx of new players entering the market. However, it is crucial to recognise that competition is inevitable and ongoing. The most effective strategy to address this challenge involves concentrating on your product, ensuring its uniqueness, exceptional quality craftsmanship, and pairing it with top-notch customer service. Additionally, understanding the consumer preferences, especially those of Gen Z, is important.

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