Sunday 18 November, 2018

Retailers feel the love for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day could not have come sooner for local retailers after the traditional post-Christmas season lull in January.

Businesses are reporting bumper sales during the season of love, which accounts for a big chunk of annual revenues for retailers of items such as floral arrangements, chocolate, gift baskets and fragrances.

As one perfume retailer, Lucet Montgomery, puts it: “Jamaicans love to be seen and they love to be loved.”

The CEO of LUECITY said she’s expecting good sales for the period, following slow sales in January.

Lucet Montgomery

“It’s picking up now, people love Valentine’s Day, a lot of people want their fragrances, they want their teddy bears,” Montgomery told Loop News.

Additionally, with Valentine’s Day falling on a public holiday (Ash Wednesday) this year – the first time since 1945 - some businesses are expecting an additional boost.

“Because the holiday is spread out over three days - Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, persons like to get gifts at their office and the ones who don’t get on Tuesday will force their loved ones to send on Thursday,” CEO of Chocolate Dreams, Michelle Smith, said.

Chocolate fondue from Chocolate Dreams

Smith, who said Valentine’s Day accounts for some 30 per cent of annual sales at Chocolate Dreams, is projecting sales to double this Valentine season compared to last year’s.

Meanwhile, at least one retailer linked expected stronger sales to an improving domestic economy.

Director of Fontana Pharmacy, Kevin O’Brien Chang said, “The economy is doing well, and judging by the latest business and consumer confidence surveys, there’s low inflation, and more expected disposable income, I expect people to shop for Valentine’s Day,” Chang explained.

He shared similar sentiments to other businesspersons, noting that though some customers wait until the last minute to shop, they are sure to spend for the season.

"Fontana Pharmacy Director  Kevin O'Brien Chang says men in particular are prepared to shop for Valentine's Day.

 "January is tamarind season, but people certainly plan for Valentine’s Day, especially the men,” Chang said. “The men know that if they don’t step up their game, they will be left behind.”