Wal-Mart, JC Penney eye India trinkets

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 21 June 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: Wal-Mart, JC Penney, Zail and Signity - the big retail chains of the first world are making a beeline for Indian shores to source jewelry.

While Made in India jewelry has been adorning western admirers for years, it is only recently that the big retail chains have begun sourcing it directly from Indian manufacturers.

And not just traditional designs with diamonds and colored precious and semi-precious stones. Even in funky and fun segments such as Bling Bling jewellery popular among Hispanics and African Americans, Indian exporters are making a mark.

Wal-Mart had first approached Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council three years ago to begin outsourcing.

But industry sources point out that none of the big guys directly buy from India in a big way. While the designs are made and stones set here, the final polishing is usually done either in Thailand or in Italy.

One of the reasons the big daddies of jewelry such as Tiffany's, who get much of their manufacturing done in Thailand, have not approached the Indian manufacturers is the lack of trained personnel.

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