Barely 48 hours to St. Valentine’s Day, an increase in the purchase of adult themed toys, lingerie (women’s underwear), cakes and wigs has been recorded, a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos reveals.
The survey was conducted at The Palms Mall, Lekki, and Novera Mall, Sangotedo, on Friday.
St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated annually on February 14.
The Wikipedia says “the day originated as a minor Western Christian feast day honouring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine.
“However, through later folk traditions, it has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.’’
Mrs Hannah Jonathan, Founder and Coach, Soul Spice Sex Reflection, told NAN that about a 45 per cent increase in the sale of adult themed toys had been recorded as compared with 2019.
Jonathan attributed the increase in the toys among others to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on outings and social gatherings; a development which she said had limited the activities of couples to the confines of their homes.
She stated that Nigerians had become more open to exploring new options to spicing up procreation activities, particularly, during the Valentine’s Day celebration.
“This year is way better than last year, even though, during the lockdown, we almost ran out of stock on our sex toys.
“And, in spite of the over 100 per cent increase in prices, people are still willing to buy.
“I will say to you that so far, we have recorded a 45 per cent increase in the sale of all our items.
“Married persons are no longer shy to explore and be vocal about exploring what they want, especially, attaining climax with our orgasm cream. People are even giving out these toys as gifts to their partners and loved ones.
“I made about 50 adult themed cards as a trial run and they are almost out of stock. So, generally, sales are better this year and we are glad for it,” she said.
Ms Ruth Expama, Salesperson, Lulu Lingerie, said she was hopeful that people would do more purchases as the Valentine’s Day approach.
Ekpama said that the norm was for buyers to wait till the day got closer and look out for attractive Valentine deals, before making purchases.
“So far, we are just expectant even though we have not recorded that much sales.
“But today being a Friday and the Valentine’s Day being a Sunday, the weekend fever will definitely catch up with people.
“They will expectedly visit our shops in their numbers as has been the norm,” she said.
Some bakers across the metropolis also said there had been a 50 per cent increase in the orders for cakes, to celebrate the day.
Mrs Oluwatobiloba Agbebi, Director, CakesbyButtercup, attributed the increment to the fact that cakes and celebrations usually go hand in hand.
“People are just really grateful to still be alive to celebrate their loved ones, following the deaths and negativities recorded from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Sales have been awesome. I can say this year’s Valentine celebration is better than last year’s.
“This is probably because people have gone through a lot with the COVID-19, and their loved ones want to make them feel good.’’
She said: “I have four orders going to the same family for Val; so, you can tell how happy people are to be alive at this period.
“I designed a “Be Mine” package that is affordable; 12 chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, fully decorated, costs N5,000. The same, but with an added bottle of wine, goes for N7,500.
“The six inches chocolate and red velvet cake with a bottle of fruit wine and a card costs N8,000. An additional chocolate bar to that package makes it N10, 000,’’ she said.
Another baker, Mrs Kanimo Dimas-Okuo, Managing Director, Neemo’s CREAMCakes, said that Valentine’s Day celebration impacts on cake orders had slightly shored up.
This, she attributed to new, creative and innovative ideas springing up daily on cake decorating designs, packages and Valentine’s Day giveaways.
“Valentine’s impact on cakes has, for me, slightly gone up even with all that is happening with the COVID-19 on the purchasing power of citizens,” she said.
Dimas-Okuo noted that a box of 12 cupcakes in chocolate, vanilla and red velvet with whipped cream, chocolate and fruit toppings plus a mini fruit wine, costs N4,500 while 12 cupcakes with a box of chocolates and a bottle non-alcoholic wine, costs N7500.
“Also, eight inches double-layered buttercream cake, with a box of chocolates and bottle of mini non-alcoholic wine, goes for N10,500.
“All these are within the affordable range of an average Nigerian to celebrate their loved ones, in spite of the current financial situation of many persons,” she said.
Miss Latifah Abu, a wig dealer and Chief Executive Officer of Wholesome Hairs, said that the purchases of wigs had gone up by over 50 per cent, especially for the most sought after being “bone straight” hairs.
Abu noted that ladies’ preference for more meaningful, impactful and long-lasting gifts was responsible for the development.
She stated that hair dealers had taken advantage of the season to provide good deals for their customers, which led to improved patronage.
“Ladies have stepped up to receiving nice hairs as gifts at any season of celebration and Valentine’s Day is not left out.
“I have been sorting hair delivery back to back with majority of my orders coming from the men folk who t know the value of adding beauty to a woman’s looks through good hair.
“So, sales have really gone up and it will remain so for almost a week after the Valentine’s Day celebration,” she said.
Other items observed to be on high demand to celebrate the ‘’love’’ day include cards, roses, towels, mugs, picture frames, matching clothing items and perfumes.