Dipu Mehta, Managing Director, ORRA, is confident that 2022 will be a good year for diamond jewellery. He also reveals the reasons behind the tie-up with India’s top fashion couturier Falguni Shane Peacock for its limited collection of bridal jewellery, the launch of the Divaa collection set with LGDs, and more.
ORRA was recently in the news for tying up with fashion designers Falguni Shane Peacock to design an exclusive bridal line. What prompted this move?
ORRA has collaborated with celebrated fashion couturier Falguni Shane Peacock to introduce its first ever designer bridal jewellery line. The collection has been designed featuring ORRA’s signature Crown Star diamonds with Falguni & Shane’s distinct style of modern tradition.
The duo’s spectacular and unique design aesthetics combined with ORRA’s lineage of diamond jewellery has transformed into this special collection of six necklaces with paired earrings. The collection has been created with the finest Crown Star diamonds adding an alluring mystique to the most exquisite bridal jewellery one can possibly own.
Where can one buy this limited edition and what is its price range? How is the line faring?
The collection has been designed for the new-age bride and the limited edition will be only available at ORRA’s flagship stores in the bridal zones. The price ranges between Rs.12 lakh and Rs.35 lakh.
In late December, ORRA launched its sub-brand Divaa, which will be selling jewellery set with lab-grown diamonds (LGDs). ORRA is known for its high-end and pret lines set with natural diamonds. What motivated you to enter into the LGD segment?
We have been seeing the shift in consumer demand towards LGD in the international markets in the recent times. This is particularly true for the younger audience.
Yes, ORRA is well-known for its higher ticket items in bridal jewellery, hence it was a strategic call to create a sub-brand that focuses on LGD for the younger audience.
For us, it was a natural progression … and LGDs are the biggest innovation seen currently in this market. Hence, we took the first-mover advantage as a national retail diamond brand to enter this market.
Do you foresee a surge in demand for LGD-set jewellery lines? Is the Indian consumer ready for the shift?
Yes, we have been observing this market segment for quite a while and done enough studies in India to realise that the consumer is ready for it – especially the younger audience who thrive on technological innovations.
ORRA recently opened a showroom in Bhopal. What is the demand like in tier 2 cities?
We are seeing a higher demand and acceptance of diamond jewellery in tier 2 cities and hence decided to open our second store in Bhopal’s Malviya Nagar.
We are currently expanding in metros plus tier 2 cities. But we aren’t opening stores in any new markets, just adding stores in markets where we are already present.
We are increasing the number of stores within cities as well since the demand has also increased.
Currently, we are present in 27 cities with 58 stores. Also, with a category like jewellery, it is important to have brick-and-mortar showrooms since customers like to see, touch and try on high value jewellery before making a purchase.
What are the current buying trends among your customers?
Besides our bridal jewellery collection, we do have other collections like Astra, which cater primarily to self-purchasers. Our ORRA Generations box, which is a set of our solitaire collection, is mostly purchased for gifting.
How did the pandemic impact your business?
The pandemic did slow down the overall business but we focused on technology-driven customer experiences such as Try-at-Home facility and Video Calls to ensure that our customers enjoyed the jewellery-buying experience from their homes. We also run promotions across different categories, and of course, our lucrative EMI facility that we offer for diamond jewellery helps us keep up the volumes.
Did sales pick up in Q4 of 2021? If yes, which categories of jewellery have been moving well?
As we have just entered Q4, we have seen a slightly slow movement due to the pandemic in certain cities. But overall, we are seeing good number of walk-ins and sales.
Has there been a change in the average ticket price since Covid?
During the lockdown we saw a dip in sales but once things started opening up, our average ticket price got back to what it always was.
What is the current state of the Indian jewellery retail industry?
The pandemic has affected all industries and the purchase pattern of consumers has slowed down. But we saw an extremely positive customer sentiment during the Diwali period in 2021, and we predict a good year for all retailers.
How is the hybrid online/offline format working for your brand? Is e-commerce as important as in-store shopping?
ORRA is a large retail chain with a presence across 27 cities. But we feel that e-commerce has a strong influence on the buying decision of the customer. Since we are a hybrid model, a lot of customers use our website for browsing, and later visit the store to make the purchase.
However, we have seen a lot of millennials who are comfortable shopping from our e-commerce website due to the trust factor in our brand.
In the past year, we have seen a shift in customer purchase patterns and they are comfortable buying higher ticket items such as bangles, bracelets and even necklaces through our e-commerce site.
What’s your forecast for diamond jewellery for the rest of the year?
We are very optimistic about 2022, and we see an upward trend in sales. We see an increase in demand for diamond jewellery and with the help of 0% interest EMI we can see more and more customers buying larger pieces of diamond jewellery.