Cupid's arrow is dead on target!

DUBAI - Cupid will have his hands full today with people with failing memories rushing to the nearest shops to buy their loved ones a last minute special gift for Valentine's Day.

By Prerna Suri

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Published: Sat 14 Feb 2004, 11:34 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:41 PM

Novelty shops in the city have noticed an increase in their sales with people buying traditional items such as greeting cards, teddy bears and heart shaped boxes for their near and dear ones. Mansoor Abulhoul, Managing Partner of Magrudy's, says that an increase in sales has been noticed for these merchandise during festivals and Valentine's Day is no exception.

"We always anticipate an increase in demand during such days and place our orders well in advance to ensure that stocks are available. People prefer buying the traditional greeting cards but our sales show that teddy bears and other such items are also doing pretty well. Roughly speaking, we see a 30-40 per cent increase in our turnover in the greeting cards category during Valentine's Day."

Gulf Greetings, which have 27 shops across the UAE, have also noticed an increase in their sales.

"Many people keep their shopping for the last-minute and we are expecting a huge increase in our sales today. Up until now, we have noticed a 20 per cent increase in our sales," said Jaya Thilakan, Merchandise Controller of Gulf Greetings.

In order to entice customers, many shops have also tastefully decorated their premises with attractive Valentine's Day balloons, teddy bears, ribbons and even heart shaped pillows. Some people are, however, taking the less trodden way of gifting their loved ones something practical and useful rather than the usual clichéd romantic items.

Said Arti Manchandani, a marketing analyst:" I'm gifting my boy friend a DVD as he's been waiting for it since the past few months. Instead of gifting him something as useless as chocolates or flowers, I feel that this is a better way of expressing my love for him."

Die-hard romantics will, however, swear by their roses and candlelit dinners, which they say, symbolises the true spirit of this day. "I know it's very clichéd to give roses and candy to somebody on this day, but I feel that this is the best way I can express my feelings for that special someone rather than giving them something practical and boring," said Thomas Roasario, a copywriter. Novelty shops say that the rush to buy Valentine's Day merchandise sometimes begins as early as two weeks before the big event.

"Even though people don't plan for Valentine's Day much in advance as compared to other festivals, we do notice that the rush begins maybe a week or two before the actual day," said Mr Abulhoul. But with many people keeping their shopping for the last minute, shops in Dubai will have their hands full today.

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