Valentine’s Day: It’s Mixed Feelings Amongst Lagos Folks
Despite the tough and turbulent political and economic climate, many shopaholics in Nigeria, particularly the male population in Lagos who are the major actors in this annual lovers’ shopping jamboree have been operating in a frenzy since yesterday. But the docile ones have partly adduced the highly charged political scene, volatility security atmosphere, unsteady economic ambience and other unfavourable conditions for their lacklustre disposition towards today’s valentine rave. No matter how today day will end for all lovebirds, It will be different strokes for different folks.
Since February 14, 269 AD when the Emperor Claudius-led Roman Empire sentenced Valentine, a Catholic priest, to death for conducting secret weddings, his death has been commemorated in so many countries across the world as St. Valentine’s Day. Presently, St. Valentine’s Day has grown to become a big business and shopping window. It is indeed regarded by many as the “second largest card-sending holiday of the year,” after Christmas. Many analysts feel the sales record puts it ahead of easter.
Over the years, Valentine’s Day has evolved and expanded through an aggressive marketing strategy, with men and women in the Western world scurrying to make holiday bookings or buy flowers and gifts for their loved ones. According to 2018, Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey presented by US-based Statistic Brain Research Institute, the average annual Valentine’s Day spending in the last few years was around $29.39 billion while the number of Valentine’s Day cards exchanged was valued at $280 million. The average number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day is $376 million; the revenue of domestically cut flowers in the United States alone was given as $473 million, while annual revenue from jewellery stores for the period was $2.9 billion.
As love birds don their red colour outfit, which is regarded as the official colour brand, and do Shakespeare’s bidding of spicing love with music in celebrating the heroics of St. Valentine today, it is expected that from cinemas to cakes shops, hotels, resort centres, aviation sector to quick-service restaurants (QSR), brand owners and marketing buffs would unleash marketing strategy through discount offer, campaigns and promotions to lure customers through this growing marketing window. According to market research firm IBIS World, Valentine’s Day sales reached $27.3 billion last year.
However, a visit yesterday to Ikeja City Mall, and Sheraton Hotel in Lagos to gauge the anticipatory mood and readiness for the Valentines’ day today revealed that shoppers and consumers alike were not as “packed and loaded”” as expected, probably most player are keeping their best performances for today, the high point of this celebrated lovers rendezvous.
For the ever-increasing number of online retailers in Lagos, Valentine’s Day is a key revenue driver. This is because many consumers are purchasing lots of products as Valentine’s gifts. Ranging from a standard gift selection of chocolates, roses and fine dining, brands will continue to expand their equity through various online marketing strategies. Hence, such as online marketing platforms, like Konga and Jumia, will benefit from the Valentine rave, as more Nigerians will deploy the e-commerce industry to their advantage.
Speaking on her expectations as Val’s day is being celebrated today, Miss Lois Abugu, an undergraduate of the Lagos State University (LASU), maintains that this year’s lovers’ day celebration has been watered down by tough economic conditions and toxic security reports saturating Nigeria’s, mass media.
“ Most people are particularly dislocated and troubled over our current state of uncertainty about our national security and economy. About this time last year, my lover had showered me with several gifts and a trip to Dubai. ” Regrettably, this year’s Val day has not been this same. Anyway, I still intend to go out there and have fun and make myself happy to keep hope alive” she said.