The Business of Valentine Day 2019; The Day After

Proshare

Saturday, February 16, 2019 2.00PM / Bukola Akinyele and Nifemi Taiyese for Proshare WebTV

 

Valentine day 2019 has come and gone but the memories linger. Younger lovers smooched away the evening arm in arm blowing soft kisses as their dreamy-eyed innocence concealed economic ignorance, older couples tugged at each arms as they cuddled themselves into a comfortable notion of marital bliss marked by a casual poke at financial unruliness. The mass consumer market called valentine took a grip of the nations wallet and swallowed it with greed and joy.

An interesting part of this is the fact that Valentine day, beyond the story of Love is one of crushing business activity: a sand storm of commerce on steroids. Valentine is one of those annual rituals that sends the consumer retail market spiralling into the stratosphere as both the young and old find an excuse for spending money they oftentimes can ill-afford.

According to a local newspaper, the Punch, Nigerians during Valentine 2019 carried out 2.5 m transactions, captured by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems, NIBSS payment platform.   

The National Retail Federation in the United States of America  projected that Valentine day shoppers were going to add $20.7bn to the economy, compared to $19.2bn in 2018.

The two reports concerning Nigeria and the U.S underscores a passionate social love affair between commerce, behavioural fantasies and economic growth.  .                                                                    

Proshare WebTV engaged a cross-section of Nigerians on their experiences during the Valentine  day hysteria. A few views are presented on the day’s intoxicating excitement and sobriety that follows the day after.

It was an opportunity to look at the cost of items in the market and how the celebration helped to boost economic growth by a few basis points.


Essence of Valentine

To some it is a day to show love to their cherished ones while to others, it is a time to give back to the society, whichever one is considered, it is a time money is spent and circulated in an orgy of consumerism and perhaps charity.


Valentine’s day; Sales and Business Experience

From casual social engagement , the selected class of people in our surevy stated that they spend between N2,000 and N40,000 on gifts which places them in the middle income earners category.

Occupations ranged from artistes, civil servants, business men/women, makeup artistes, hair stylists, barbers, pharmacists and a few others who were the main vendors of the season of love.

Mrs Joy a businesswoman said she  spent N37,000 on buying gifts for her family, while a student had N6,000 budget to buy  things for herself.

On purchasing items such as groceries and blanket a PR practitioner in Ikeja, Lagos said he spent about N12,500.

From Civil servants who participated in this review, each spent an average of N12,000 on buying gifts and going on a fun binge.

According to Veet, a make-up artiste, she spent N10,500 on gifts for her partner.

The general cost of items, did not skyrocket but remained stable in several shops from the observation of regular customers.

Individuals also gave out more gifts than they received and it was more of an exchange.

Francis an Artiste said, he got more clients during this season as paintings normally sold for N30,000 increased to N35,000.

Hairstylists experienced about 25% increase in sales, boutiques 50% increase in clothes sold and Pharmacies about 55% increase in sales (mainly contraceptives and condoms).

Beauty products however remained stable with no significant change in prices.

All these businesses experienced a slight boost in sales, and  from discussion the spenders were meticulously thinking of how to make more money than what spent during the day.

 In a nutshell the Valentine day celebration brings in a lot of economic activities and opportunities for businesses, that are involved in the seasonal celebrative consumer value chain.

Data gathered by WebTV were based on interviews at select business locations.

In terms of value creation, here are some of the businesses that witnessed a temporary upward spiral in sales;

 

Valentine Cards/Printing Businesses

Companies that sell paper cards and e-cards saw a surge in production and sales over the period as demand forced supply into existence, which in the short-run enabled the companies distribute to a wider range of retailers and online vendors.


Cloth sellers /Boutiques

Business vendors who sell clothes were heavily patronised this valentine season as friends and family went on a buying frenzy getting gifts in form of clothes for their loved ones. Seller of white and red outfits were as high as a kite as they saw sales figures tick up.


Florists

Florists received large orders of flower bouquets ranging from peonies, roses, lilies, dahlia and so on, from their prospective buyers to be delivered to loved ones. Flowers symbolize affection. This was one of the few times in the year the business sprinted.


Valentine’s Gift Basket

This is a seasonal business that only sees high volumes during the valentine period .

Individuals that are skilled with packaging these items and sending them out to clients, have a great time in sales and profits.


Pastry Chef

In the spirit of valentine, friends, family, children all request for Family and cupcakes, and so there was an influx of people buying cakes in the Ikeja and Victoria Island districts of Lagos. Surulere also saw a fairly lighter patronage of confectioners.  Apparently, everyone likes good quality cake, and so investing some of their money in this is what they did over the period. A medium-sized cake cost N5,000, but a larger cake sold for between N8,000 and N10,000.


Restaurant

Restaurants benefited a lot on the big V day, as Ikeja restaurants saw a lively bustle of people spending an average of N5,000 a couple and their sales figures stiffened as volumes rose.


Pharmacy

The Pharmacies were not left out of the festivities as sales of items such as condoms and contraceptives hit the roof with young Nigerians in their early twenties apparently going on sex raves. Low cost condoms sold for about N250 per pack while higher quality products went for as high as N1,500 for a pack of three.


Hairstyling/Barbing

Ladies, Children and Men went to get their hair made and groomed as barbers and hair stylists went on backbreaking extended hours to meet up with customer demands. At the low end barbing saloons barbers charged Between N300 and N500 per hair cut while higher end saloons charged N1,000. The average saloon had between 25 and 30 patrons a day or two to Valentine’s day which suggested an income of N7,500 and N12,500 per small saloon and N25,000 for higher end outlets. Female workers mindful that February 14 2019 fell on a working day opted to buy wigs rather than go through the hassles of setting and styling their hair. This set them back by a minimum of N12.000. A saloon that sold about 10 of these wigs made a ‘bumper’ sale of N120,000 before Valentine’s day.


Items

Price

Perfume

32,000

Portrait

30,000

Wine

7,000

Shirts

17,500

Makeup

10,000

 

 

Names of Shops

Percentage (%)Valentine Sales Increase

Complete Woman Fashion

50%

Dimeb Pharmacy (CD)

45%

Hair Express

20%

Number 1 Barbing Salon

40%

Antonia Clothes

41%

Joyem Bags

35%

WellMart Pharmacy

50%

 

Beauty Shops

For beauticians and artistes with flawless work they got several referrals as ladies who were going out for dinner and sundry events slated for the day had professional makeup done, this set their purse (or the wallets of their partners) back by between N5,000 (in Ikeja) and N20,000 (in Victoria Island/Ikoyi).

Valentine may be over but different people are counting different costs. Boyfriends and husbands are sighing over the lightness of their pockets while girlfriends and wives are smiling angelically at the new additions to their ward robes, their new hair styles and pedicure and perhaps for the top notchers a gleaming addition to the garage. But in the whole cycle of consumer wildness the ultimate beneficiary is the retailer and perhaps by extension GDP.


Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.


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