Thangals Jewellery’s Ambitious Expansion: New Showrooms, Markets, and a Diamond Boutique

Solitaire delves into the pioneering journey of Thangals Jewellery with Shibu Ismail, General Manager, who is steering the brand towards the future, strategically positioning it for growth in key new markets.

What are the opportunities that differentiate your brand from established competitors?

Despite being relatively new to the retail market, our brand stands out due to our extensive 50-year history in the gold jewellery industry. Leveraging this experience, we offer competitive advantages such as lower making charges, made possible by our in-house manufacturing facility. Additionally, we excel at understanding market needs and crafting designs that resonate with customers. Supported by a dynamic team, we provide exceptional service to enhance the shopping experience for our customers. These factors collectively differentiate us from established competitors, positioning us as a compelling choice in the retail market.

Mr. Muneer Thangal, Owner of Thangals Jewellery

What are your long-term growth plans for the jewellery business in the UAE?

Our long-term growth plans for the jewellery business in the UAE involve several strategic initiatives. Building on our successful initial launch, in 2023, we expanded significantly by opening approximately 10 showrooms across the UAE, including locations in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Recently, we unveiled an exclusive female crew showroom, the first of its kind in the GCC for a jewellery brand, catering to the needs of modern working women. Furthermore, we are excited to introduce an exclusive diamond boutique under a new brand name, set to launch in the Gold Souq’s new extension. To meet the growing demand for local products, we are establishing new manufacturing facilities in different emirates of UAE. Additionally, we are enhancing our international operations by opening a new corporate office in May, aimed at streamlining our global business processes for operational efficiency. These initiatives reflect our commitment to sustainable growth and innovation in the UAE jewellery market.

What are the specific market segments or niches you aim to target for expansion?

Our expansion strategy prioritises tapping into diverse market segments and niches across various regions. Initially, our focus lies on penetrating markets in India, the Far East, and other GCC countries within the next two years. These regions offer immense potential for growth and present opportunities to cater to a wide array of consumer needs and preferences.

Following our successful establishment in these regions, we aim to extend our reach further into Europe and the United States. These markets are characterised by their sophistication, diverse consumer behaviour, and robust economic landscapes. By strategically entering these markets after our initial expansion phase, we can leverage our experience, resources, and brand reputation to effectively compete and thrive.

Shibu Ismail, General Manager

How many stores does Thangals currently have and what are the growth plans for the year 2024 (In terms of new stores and new markets )  

Thangals currently operates 27 showrooms. In 2024, we plan to expand with 3 new showrooms in the UAE and 2 each in India, Malaysia, and Singapore, strategically positioning ourselves for growth in key markets.

How will you adapt your business strategy to navigate economic fluctuations or market uncertainties?

Thangals Jewellery navigates economic fluctuations and market uncertainties by diversified revenue streams across manufacturing, wholesale, and retail sectors. Our agile supply chain management enables us to swiftly adapt to changing market demands, while our customer-centric approach ensures sustained loyalty and attraction.

What are the segments that Thangals Jewellery is catering to? Are you also catering to 18-karat clients? Also are you looking at new manufacturers in different categories?

In Thangals, we serve 18-karat clients alongside other segments, offering a comprehensive selection to meet varied preferences. Thangals Jewellery caters to diverse segments with a collection that includes 18-karat jewellery from Italy, Greece, Turkey, Hong Kong, and other countries, featuring both lightweight and medium-weight ranges.

What are the consumer preferences and behaviour of jewellery buyers? Are they looking at in-house brands or generic jewellery?

Thangals Jewellery caters to various segments, including 22-karat jewellery, diamonds, platinum, silver, pearls, and 8-karat items. We are continuously seeking partnerships with new manufacturers across different categories to expand our offerings and meet the evolving demands of our clientele.

How do you see overall sales vis-à-vis the previous year?  

Overall, we anticipate an increase in sales compared to the previous year as the global gold market rebounds from the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. Despite a slight decline in the retail industry due to the recent unexpected surge in international gold prices, we remain optimistic. With a consistent gold price, we foresee a resurgence in sales in the coming months, aligning with the upward trajectory of the global gold market.

How do you create a unique and memorable customer experience both online and offline?

Despite experiencing strong sales thus far, we’ve observed a slight decline in the last two months, primarily attributed to the recent unexpected surge in international gold prices. However, with the global gold market steadily rebounding post-Covid-19, we remain optimistic about future sales prospects. Consistent gold prices moving forward are expected to fuel an increase in sales in the coming months, building upon our earlier successes.

As one of the fastest young retailers what are the challenges that you foresee in the coming year and what are your plans to address them?

As one of the fastest-growing young retailers, we foresee two main challenges in the coming year. Firstly, there’s a shortage of skilled and experienced personnel to support our expansion into new markets. As our company grows, we require more talented individuals to help manage operations effectively. Secondly, the rising price of gold is impacting customer purchasing power, leading to a slight decline in overall sales, particularly in wholesale. To address these challenges, we are actively recruiting and training new talent while implementing strategies to mitigate the impact of gold price fluctuations on customer demand.

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