Shop owners in Lagos have decried poor patronage ahead of Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day celebration, according to a survey.
A correspondent who visited some gift shops and supermarkets in some parts of the metropolis, reports that the traders were lamenting poor sales.
Mrs Awulika Odeh, a shop owner at Shoprite, Adeniran Ogunsanya St., Surulere, attributed the low patronage on gift items to the increase in fuel price.
Odeh also said that the resumption of schools in January also affected the incomes of families who had to pay school fees.
She added that some tenants also pay their house rents at the beginning of the year.
“There are a lot of Valentine items we have in stock, but people are only coming in trickles to buy,” Odeh said.
She noted that women were buying the gift items more than men, adding that most of the items being bought included shirts, ties and cufflinks for men.
Mr Chike Ude, Shop Manager of Shop Direct, Tafawa Balewa Crescent, Surulere, said that they were not making good sales on valentine gift items.
“The greeting cards are no more as marketable as they used to be in the 1980s. I guess it is mainly because of the emergence of GSM and the social media,” Ude said.
Two greeting card sellers, Mr Kelechi Ugwu at Masha/Kilo and Mr Sebastine Onyeka, at Ojuelegba, also said that GSM and the social media were causing low patronage.
Onyeka said that the new options available on the internet, particularly those based on the social media, were killing the market for cards.
He said that cards were expensive, because of the cost of materials, so people are no longer patronizing them as before.
“Most card sellers are beginning to move to other businesses because people are losing interest in cards too quickly,” he said.
Miss Funmi Adeosun, a student, said that she and her friends did not exchange gifts during valentine but would usually plan a group outing, to cut costs.