Africa Moyo Senior Business Reporter
JEWELLERY consumers are warming up to Aurex (Pvt) Limited’s new pricing structure of 70 percent foreign currency and 30 percent RTGS, bond notes or mobile money, amid indications that the firm recorded sales of US$30 000 in November.
Aurex, a top jewellery manufacturer set up in 1992, revised its pricing regime from bond notes, RTGS and mobile payments alone following a Government directive that jewellery makers should buy raw materials such as gold and diamonds in foreign currency.
Gold is bought from the country’s sole gold buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR), an arm of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Aurex chief executive officer Engineer Pasipaipa Munhumutema told The Herald Business yesterday that they started selling on the 70 percent foreign currency and 30 percent RTGS system from November.
“There was an announcement that we should buy our raw materials in foreign currency, and we looked into our cost structure,” said Eng Munhumutema.
“So we engaged our customers and told them that we are now supposed to buy gold from Fidelity Printers in foreign currency, and have to change from our previous pricing model of 100 percent RTGS.
“But I have to indicate that we have not increased our prices.”
Eng Munhumutema said in November, sales shot up to US$30 000 as customers embraced the change.
“We have made good sales for November, of US$30 000. Customers are understanding what we are doing,” said Eng Munhumutema.
Before tweaking the pricing structure, Aurex recorded a surge in sales volumes of up to $20 000 (RTGS) per day.
In some instances, some customers would buy products worth $10 000 in one transaction, which never used to happen before, as some people sought to hedge their money held in bank accounts, in the products.
A number of shops, particularly those selling products on credit or lay-bye terms, were literally emptied as consumers engaged in shopping orgies in a desperate bid to get rid of their RTGS balances.
Eng Munhumutema said sales have since gone down following the new pricing structure but they are expected to pick up soon.
Aurex, which is under Aurex Holdings, makes a range of machine and hand-made products such as chains, bangles, earrings, wedding, fashion rings, bracelets and various artefacts such as the big five animals for the domestic and export markets.
Aurex Holdings is also into cutting and polishing diamonds mined in the country through Aurex Diamonds (Pvt) Limited.