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Traders lament low patronage on Valentines Day

By Jesutomi Akomolafe and Jeariogbe Yetunde
15 February 2021   |   3:05 am
Traders in gifts and other wares have lamented low patronage in this years’ Valentines Day celebration.

Shoes on display at Arena and Oshodi market

Google research says ladies committed more to making a memorable Valentine than men
Traders in gifts and other wares have lamented low patronage in this years’ Valentines Day celebration.

Some of them who spoke with The Guardian at the weekend in Arena and Oshodi market blamed low sales on the poor state of the economy, while others noted that advent of online stores was largely responsible.

In the past, the two markets were usually a behive of activities, especially on eve of Valentine’s day with large crowd of persons shopping for different kinds of goods to make their loved ones happy.

One Iyaloode, a dealer in clothes said: “ Aside the fact that this year’s Valentine falls on a Sunday, people have not been patronising us for valentine dresses, the sales have been very low compared to last year’s patronage. Many of our customers kept saying ‘we will wear what we have’’.

Another trader who identified himself simply as Chukwudi, said the level of patronage in his shop has been like every other day with no improvement as a result of the celebration.

“With the Valentines day celebration, I thought I will make much sales than I have been making since January, but for me nothing much changed from what I have been seeing. The problem for me is either the Covid-19 crisis or the prices of goods. When you compare prices of goods we sold last year with the same goods we are selling now in 2021, you will discover that the prices have sky-rocketed, which have discouraged many”, he said.

Eniola Agbolaya complained that the current economic situation in the country has not been encouraging for low-income earners.

Her words: “We all are trying to take off stress from our daily routine. For me, I am spending the moments with my family and friends in the house”.

When The Guardian visited the markets, prices of leather shoe, which costs N5,000 in 2020 is now N14, 000, rubber slippers that costs N2, 500 is sold for N5, 000 or N10, 000 depending on the brand, while prices of a two layer-cake, which costs N5, 000 before is now sold for N10, 000 based on specifications.

Speaking to The Guardian, Bamgboye Ayanfe said: “I cherish Valentines Day, because it has always been my birthday.

Being the month of love and season to celebrate with loved ones. Instead of purchasing products that would make me spend my entire savings I will be going to the cinema to see a movie with my lover and have a nice time. I know I will not spend up to N10, 000.”

Meanwhile, Google on Saturday revealed that Nigerian ladies top the search rating on how to make this year Valentine’s Day memorable for their lovers.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every February 14 around the world and is associated with love.

Google, in a statement in Lagos by its communication officer Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade said the spike in Valentine related questions on its search engine showed that lovers in Nigeria were already busy preparing to thicken the air with romance.

“In the last week, there has been huge spike in Valentine’s Day related searches on Google by Nigerians.

“The search for how to be romantic to your boyfriend on phone spiked by 250 per cent, while ‘Gift for boyfriend’ was searched 71 per cent more than ‘gift for girlfriend’ in the past week by Nigerians.

“It seems that Nigerian ladies are showing more commitment to lover’s day than the guys.

“This may be as a result of Nigerian men requesting more for useful gift items that are not the usual for Valentine’s Day,” it said.

The firm revealed its search engine also showed that Nigerians were interested in the meaning of Valentine’s Day, as well as, conveying their heartfelt love messages of deep affection.

“The search for the ‘history of Valentine’s Day’ celebration and ‘Valentine love letter’ spiked by +400 per cent and +550 per cent respectively. ‘Valentine message for my love’ also spiked by +300 percent in the past week,” it said.

Google said that search interest for online dating apps also peaked during the pandemic, which was a reflection that the pandemic had taken a toll on all aspects of life including dating and relationships.

“Nigerians who cannot physically get together are finding alternatives with online dating apps and are becoming more trusting of using apps to find love,” it noted.

The firm listed some of the Valentine related questions asked by Nigerian on Google to include ‘What is love?’, ‘What is the meaning of love?’ and ‘How to know if a guy loves you?’

Also, ‘How to know if a girl loves you?’ and ‘How to ask a girl out?’

“Nigerians are keen on knowing ‘How to make love?’ as it was one of the top questions asked in the past week.

“Nigerians are definitely eager to impress their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. This is shown in the increased rate of ‘how-to’ searches about Valentine’s Day recently.

“Nigerians also want to know, ‘How to make a Valentine Card?’, ‘How to package Valentine gifts?’, ‘How to dress on Valentine?’ and ‘How to ask a girl to be your Valentine?’” it stated.

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