As Valentine day draws close, dealers in items for the commemoration of the love season have expressed diverse experiences on 2022 patronage as against previous years.
The dealers expressed these mixed feelings in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the level of patronage and challenges.
The owner of De Concept Venture store, Ms Victoria Osigwe, who deals on stationeries in Ijegun area of Lagos, said that patronage of Valentine gift items started since Feb. 1.
She said that her major costumers are school children and youths between the ages of 16 and 25.
“My costumers started making requests and enquiries from the end of January and that made me book my order in the first week of February when the sales began.
“Most of them have started buying, though its tough because the prices increased and that has affected the volume of sales.
“The fact is that since most schools would be commemorating the day officially, this has increased patronage from school children,” she said.
Osigwe, who also deals on toys, said that the difference in prices of these 2022 Valentine gift items when compared to 2021 prices is between N200 and N500.
Another dealer at Abaranje area, a suburb in Lagos, Mr Brian David, said Rose flower was the most patronised article this Valentine.
”Red Rose flower moves faster than frames and wrapped packs.
“The age grade of those buying the items is from 12 years and above and mainly secondary school children, because schools encourage the commemoration as part of their extracurricular activities,” he said.
David, who is also a graduate school teacher, said he engaged in seasonal sales of Valentine gift items to upgrade his income.
“With schools keying into the celebration, there’s always good business for people like us who capitalise on the opportunity.
”This weekend has been busy with the sale of love items,” he said.
Also, co-owners of Fabric Hub, Ms Blessing Olutoki, and Ms Joy Olutoki, said they usually sell Senator Materials during Valentine season but that it had been difficult making sales this 2022 Valentine.
“We have to merge some items into different packages because the sale of these materials became difficult.
“The price range is from N20,000 to N35,000, unlike other packages that are N50,000 and above, and probably due to the cheap prices, people from different states patronise us for their delivery.
“Usually, we sell four yards of Senator material for N12,000, eight yards for N24,000. It just depends on the quality of the Senator Material, but this season is tough,” they said.
Meanwhile, a trader at Ajah market, Mrs Bolanle Adeniyi, complained of low patronage which she said was due to the lack of money.
“It is just some days to Valentine, yet I have not felt the vibe of the love season.
”There’s low patronage this Valentine period which maybe due to poor economy.
“I stocked up my store in anticipation of having big sales, but things have not really improved.
“I bought lots of teddy bears, wines, jewelry, Irish cream biscuits, toffees, chocolates and flowers. I have even placed it in hamper packages,” she said.
According to Adeniyi, though it is a one-day celebration, if you are not a smart business dealer, you may run at a loss.
NAN reports that stores, roadside sellers, events and viewing centers have adorned their environment with valentine colours, red and white cloths, roses, gift items, frames, cards and hampers.
Valentine Day is celebrated annually on Feb. 14 across the world, in memorial of Saint Valentine, a priest who died for the cause of love.