Brass is big, health is the new wealth and green is the new gold this festive season, as malls and e-commerce platforms alike go all out to woo the customer with a host of tempting offers
The ritual of gifting on Diwali is said to strengthen ties and is considered a harbinger of good wishes and blessings. “What good is wealth if it isn’t shared with your loved ones,” asks entrepreneur Ankur Dhar, who spends heavily on gifts. Diwali is the perfect occasion to acknowledge someone’s importance in our lives and tell them how much we value them.
Keeping this spirit in mind, everything from the traditional puja thalis, religious idols to modern gadgets and gizmos, counter top appliances, homeware, cookware, food hampers, beauty hampers exchange hands every year.
Amazon has rolled off its Great Indian Festival (GIF) 2021 from October 3, with sellers ranging from big brands to small local shops, startups, local artisans and weavers listed on Amazon.in. Says Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Amazon India, “We are geared up for this festive season as customers look forward to celebrating from the comfort and safety of their homes and get their #KhushiyonKeDibbe delivered to them, along with instant discounts, no-cost EMIs, Amazon Pay rewards, Prime exclusive cashbacks. Plus, there is a surprise reward of virtual “diamonds” for those who have shopped in the past 12 months. Besides, we have launched ‘Prime Fridays’ for Prime members with offers across smartphones, consumer electronics, TVs, appliances, Amazon devices, fashion, beauty, home, kitchen, furniture, everyday essentials.”
One in four sellers on Amazon expects to double business through festive sales this year. Says Tiwary: “We had recently commissioned a study to Nielsen to gauge the expectations of our seller partners this festive season. The sentiment that emerged was that e-commerce will help them reach a wider set of customers this festive season as compared to previous years.”
Malls are back
While shoppers are looking to gingerly make their way back into the malls, the shopping centres are pulling out all the stops to woo customers back in with special offers, events, exhibitions.
DLF believes mall footfalls are back. Says Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Malls, “Our sales have gone up to 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels. The spends per footfall have increased–every consumer coming here is planning his/her shopping well in advance, so the depth of the wallet has improved. We have signed up 150 new brands.”
Last year Delhi’s Vegas mall recreated Varanasi Ghats for Dev Deepavali, which is considered as a “Festival of Lights of the Gods” in Benaras, with hundreds of twinkling diyas making a mesmerizing sight at the central foyer of the mall. This year the theme is “Diwali Across Borders” with a massive installation–an authentic replica of the Diwali celebrations in countries like Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Fiji, Canada, UK, South Africa, West Indies, and Japan, says Harsh V Bansal, Director, Vegas Mall, “We are bringing in a global Diwali experience this year with a larger-than-life structure that celebrates global cultures in respect to this festival.”
Malls are planning experiential events to attract customers. Pacific Mall, for instance, held a special Garba night during Navratri with food and dandiya sticks, or dinner under the moonlight on the rooftop on Karwa Chauth. Says Bharat Shishodia, Centre Director, Pacific Mall Dwarka, “We want to delight the customer with a pleasant surprise each time.” Recently they even had a special screening of the movie “Bell Bottom” at PVR D21 and tied up with JW Marriott, Delhi for those who shopped between Rs 7,000 to Rs 15,000 for a free breakfast.
Brass is big this festive season. Mahendra V S Negi N M, Managing Director, Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd, says brass items costing anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 2 lakh are being lapped up by the customer this festive season, with the average ticket size being around Rs 5,000. This is followed by religious idols such as Ganesh, Natraj and even art objects made of wood, metal and marble.
Good Earth’s vases and bowls, created by master craftsmen along with traditional alhams (Hamza Alham costs Rs 25,000) and lanterns redesigned to preserve artisanal crafts, are finding takers. Torahee, by Jaypore, is a brass edit of handcrafted antiquities, contemporising heritage artefacts passed down from one generation to the next, to welcome the season of celebrations. Jaypore’s brass and wood kaveri devotional gift box costs Rs 3,500. Chumbak’s tumblers, bottles and tins hand-painted by the local artisans of Kashmir can definitely be added to your everyday dining and make for a thoughtful gift for Diwali. A red and beige large-sized copper tumbler costs Rs 706.
Says Shubhra Chadda, Co-founder, Director-Product and Design, Chumbak, “Our Copperware and steel ware collection is popular and there is strong demand for more eco-friendly alternatives to plastic.”
Chumbak has introduced tea sets, breakfast sets, coaster sets, bar kits for the season as Chadda says, “there has been an exponential change in the way we are spending time at home post the pandemic. People are getting more “home-proud” and looking for brands that make their spaces more personal and beautiful. Home décor and dining would be a great gift this festive season. One can check out Kaunteya’s tableware collections in 24k gold priced between Rs 2,600-10,140 or Home Centre’s crockery where a dinner set is available at an average price of Rs 4,500-5,500.
Gardening plants are a great gifting idea as people imbibe the art of slow living, says spokesperson of Beruru, a garden lifestyle brand. “Gardening is a great way to detox from your digital life and hence we offer an array of flora.
Plants like Syngonium, Bamboo Plant, Calathea, Peperomia, Aglaonema, Bonsai, Cycas Revoluta, Money Plant and more would make up a perfect Diwali gift.”
Having an indoor plant at every 100 square feet of the house keeps the air clean and breathable. Plants like money plant, peperomia, and peace lily are quite popular. They are extremely low-maintenance and usually live in almost any condition-indoor, outdoor, and underwater, in soil. They require medium light and water and give you long, bushy and flourishing leaves quickly. They brighten up the living space and also remove toxins from the house. There are a wide variety of pots available in a price range of Rs 500 to Rs 30,000 –from terracotta, ceramic pots to brass finished metal planters that are minimalistic yet stylish, to jute pots and concrete planters which have an industrial-chic aesthetic. One can spruce up one’s room with hanging planters to utilise the vertical space in their homes.
Sustainability is a big theme. Use of sustainable materials, fabrics, techniques are in vogue in premium to luxury products. Hand painted, hand block printed and handmade décor objects are buzzing in the market. You can support local artisans and their craft, and therefore their local economy and community. And in turn help preserve crafts that would otherwise run the risk of fading away into oblivion.
Good Earth’s hand block printed bed collection of quilts and cushions and table linen are created on organic cotton like Bosporus Rosa (starting at Rs 2,400). Its jewel-toned cushions (starting at Rs 3,800) are embroidered mostly in silk and velvet, with gold and silver threads, and with motifs of tulips, carnations, hyacinth, cypress, crescent moon and pomegranate. Talking about why she chose the Bosporus strait, Good Earth’s Creative Director, Anita Lal says: “Byzantines were great traders. They opened trade routes throughout Asia and developed extensive trading relationships with the Middle East and the Orient, including India and China. This fascinating mix of East and West is the design theme of Bosporus.”
Fragrant candles, trays, and decorative bowls remain an evergreen option. Gifting scented soy wax jars and candles to your loved ones will fill their space with a pleasant aroma of natural fragrances. Says Ayush Baid, Founder, Ellementry: “The wax used in these candles is hand-poured natural soy wax made with vegetable-based ingredients that will not harm the environment. All the candles, priced between Rs 990-2,650 come in reusable eco-friendly containers that can be used as planters or to store art supplies, once the candle is over.”
Superfoods and dry-fruit hampers are getting more stylish with a variety of contents such as flax seeds, sunflower seeds, Amba Haldi, Ashwagandha. Says Astha Khetan, Founder, The House of Things, “Our superfood hampers are nutritional powerhouses packed with healthy fats, fibre, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals and priced at Rs 9,000-10,000.”
Technology continues to be a robust theme this festive season with smartphones, appliances, TVs, consumer electronics, Amazon Devices, counter top appliances seeing good demand (see price table for details)
Table: Indicative price list of items available for gifting this Diwali season
|Category||Product||Brand||Price range (Rs)|
|Idols, Puja thalis and Silver, Brass, Copper Gift Sets||Cottage Emporium, Jaypore, Good Earth, Chumbak||2,000-20 lakh|
|Diyas & Lanterns, other home décor||Pure Living, Collectible India,Good Earth, Nexplora, Anshika International, Newven, Sanvatsar, The Purple Tree||699-20,000|
|Gardening||Pots and Greens||Beruru, Ecofynd, Ugaoo Indoor Plants, TrustBasket, Ferns N Petals||500-30,000|
|Technology||Laptop||Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer||28,990-7,79,963|
|Mobile phone||Samsung, Redmi, Mi, Oppo, One Plus||7,699-1,79,999|
|Kitchenware||Mixer Grinders||Butterfly, Bajaj, Prestige, Lifelong, Wonder chef, Philips, Bosch||1,099-7,211|
|Usha, Inalsa, Bajaj, Morphy Richards||3,595-15,830|
|Prestige, Kent,Lifelong, Cello||1,033-2,768|
|Electric Kettle||Milton, Pigeon, Kent, Bajaj, Solara||859-1,649|
|Air Fryer||Philips, Inalsa, Havells, Kent, Amazon Basics||7,389-24,769|
|Ellementry, Kaunteya, Larah by Borosil, Cello, La Opala, Amazon Brand – Solimo||2,700-8,600|
|Cookware Set||Pigeon, Amazon Brand-Solimo, Prestige, Cello, Vinod||800-6,800|
|Home ware||Iron||Bajaj, Morphy Richards, Philips Usha, Havell||625-5,795|
|Food Gift Hamper||Chocolate Gift Pack||Cadbury, Hershey’s, Skylofts, Haldiram’s||100-1,060|
|Dry Fruits Gift Pack||The House of Things, Nutraj, GreenFinity, Ghasitaram Gifts, Kitchen Grocery||540-10,000|
|Artisanal Tea Hampers||Ferns n Petals, Chaayos, Vahdam India||700-2,700|
|Audio||Headphones||boat, Noise, pTron, realme, JBL||999-9,999|
|Television sets||Smart TV||Mi, Oneplus, LG, Samsung||16,900-3,99,900|
|Beauty products||Gifts hamper||Nourish Mantra, Body Shop, Forest Essentials, Body Herbals, VLCC, The Moms Co, Bryan & Candy New York||700-10,000|
Credits: TechSci Research
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