UAE retailers gear up for ‘digital and safe’ Valentine’s Day
Due to the current situation with Covid-19, customers might be a bit more price conscious when planning their purchases for loved ones
Cafes, restaurants, and flower shops across the UAE are gearing up for a safe and responsible Valentine’s Day, by stepping up their online and delivery services.
Speaking ahead of the event, several retailers noted that they had adopted special measures that are in line with the social distancing and safety precautions implemented to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ebraheem Al Samadi, CEO of Alsamadi Group, and owner and founder of Forever Rose Café, noted that special occasions continue to look and feel different this year.
“However, it is important for us at Forever Rose to continue to ensure that we provide a special Valentine’s Day for our clients and their loved ones no matter what,” he said. “Due to Covid-19, online sales have become a large source of inquiries and purchases, as our clients can enjoy the shopping experience from the comfort of their home by safely browsing the Forever Rose website. We have found that WhatsApp has been just as beneficial when it comes to inquiries, and we have actually been receiving inquiries and purchases for Valentine’s Day products since mid-January. However, our clients still visit our boutiques as they love the immersive experience it provides.”
Similarly, Rajesh Kumar, business head of Ferns N Petals in the UAE, said that online shopping has become a necessity as well as a more convenient approach to reach customers across the global due to Covid-19.
“Orders and enquiries for Valentine’s Day themed items have already started to come in,” he said. “Planning is key in meeting our sales targets. Even before the pandemic, the demand for our services would rise by 15 to 20 times around the Valentine’s Day period. Our strategic planning covers various aspects of the business such as rolling out limited edition products, fleet management, and acquiring additional manpower. For instance, to meet the demand and fulfill the promises during Valentine’s Day, we have planned for an additional 100 fleet, for the week of February 7-15 alone.”
Asked if the Covid-19 pandemic would have an impact on purchasing decisions this year, Kumar said: “Valentine’s Day is an occasion where the uniqueness of the product and the surprise of being gifted comes first and the cost becomes secondary. But, due to the current situation, customers might be a bit more price conscious while planning their purchases. However, we believe they won’t mind splurging a little, if the products and services are innovative and of the highest quality, and deliver excellent value for money.”
Al Samadi voiced a similar train of thought, saying: “On the special day, irrespective of the situation or maybe more so because of it, I am certain that people will be looking forward to showcasing their love and appreciation to their significant others, especially with a Forever Rose, that will last a lifetime. Forever Rose will also be offering luxurious gifting options for Valentine’s Day to make your loved ones feel special, such as long-lasting red Forever Roses in a heart shaped arrangement, stunning diamond jewellery, and the finest Belgian chocolates in exquisite arrangements. We also have our signature cocoa dusted almonds in acrylic boxes.”
Kumar also highlighted which products would see a surge in demand for the occasion. “Red roses are evergreen products for Valentine’s Day and the demand for these flowers goes up in the local and global market equally. Heart-shaped arrangements and cakes are the key theme for us this Valentine’s Day. These products are usually combined with red roses, sparkling juice, and chocolates. We have also launched a number of non-perishable products for those looking to gift a memorable and long-lasting item to their loved ones.”
“We have some amazing offers and promotions this year for early bird customers,” he added. “Gift buyers can browse through these offers on our website under our dedicated Valentine’s Day section – make sure that you have booked your flowers to avoid last-minute disappointment. On this occasion, we will be delivering all of our products with the utmost safety measures and protocols we have in place.”
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