Gift shops and florists are bracing for the Valentine’s Day rush and have launched various gift schemes and discount offers to make customers fall in love with their stores.
Gift items like flowers, jewellery, chocolates, apparels, mobiles, gadgets, perfumes, wrist watches and greeting cards have been flying off the shelves. Flower traders said that they had placed large import orders for flowers for the special day for lovebirds.
According to the Floriculture Association of Nepal (Fan), 100,000 roses are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and shops expect a massive rush on Thursday and Friday. Florists said that roses may cost Rs 20-30 apiece due to a price rise in India. According to traders, a rose costing Rs 50-80 last year may cost up to Rs 100 this year.
“Prices have gone up due to swelling demand for flowers, and customers should be ready to pay 20 percent more than before,” said Loknath Gaire, president of Fan.
However, traders do not anticipate any fall in business due to the higher prices and have predicted brisk sales.
“Valentine’s Day is incomplete without flowers, so we are importing the same quantity of flowers as last year,” he added.
Traders said that 90 percent of the total flower requirement was fulfilled by suppliers from Kolkata, Pune and Bangalore in India. The rest come from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Chitwan and other places in Nepal.
Meanwhile, Him Electronics, the authorised distributor of Timex watches in Nepal, has launched a weeklong discount offer when customers will get 15 to 20 percent off on Timex watches. “Many couples prefer to present wrist watches as gifts on Valentine’s Day, and we are offering discounts expecting more sales during this time,” said Janardan Adhikari, head of Timex watches at Him.
Similarly, MAW Enterprises, the authorised distributor of Yamaha in Nepal, is offering a flat Rs 8,000 discount on purchase of Yamaha scooters.
Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants have also announced special dinner plans for couples on Lovers’ Day while movie theatres are offering various freebies and discounts on ticket prices. The Hotel Radisson is offering a candle-lit barbeque dinner, cocktail and special cakes on the occasion.
Likewise, Q’s Cinemas has launched a week-long event to celebrate the day. “We are expecting 20 percent more ticket sales on the occasion as we have offered cash discounts on tickets till Thursday, and we are offering chocolates and various gifts on purchase of movie tickets,” said Rakesh Shrestha, manager of the theatre.
Anil Kumar Jalan, proprietor of Archies Gallery, said, “People want to buy something special for their beloved, and our shop is ready with the freshest and unique gift items and greeting cards.”
n A staff packs a gift as she waits customers at a gift shop at Jawalakhel in Lalitpur on Monday. Gift packs are widely sold on the occassion of Valentine’s Day which is celebrated on February 14.