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Women Drive the Demand Wagon This Valentine’s Day

Retailers report 10-15% rise in demand for gifts such as apparel, jewellery, cosmetics and mobiles
From TOI

    Women have taken the lead in buying gifts for their loves this Valentine’s Day as shopping malls and retailers report 10-15% rise in demand for popular gifting items such as apparel, jewellery, cosmetics and mobile handsets. 
“Women are making 60%-65% of our buyers for February 14, either by way of purchasing something for themselves or to gift something special to their partner,” says Arjun Sharma, director of Select Citywalk mall in Delhi. 
DLF Promenade, another south Delhi mall, reports 10%-15% yearon-year increase in consumer spend with the best-selling price point at the mall being . 5,000-10,000. “The consumer base has increased with this day evolving beyond the dating concept. So it’s not an occasion limited to the youth alone as was the case in previous years,” says Pushpa Bector, VP and mall head of DLF Promenade. While retailers and shopping malls have launched special offers and schemes to attract lovers in hordes, the mood is down among restaurateurs and pub owners.
Booking in restaurants are 20%-
 30% lower this year in most of north and central Indian cities because Valentine’s Day falls on Tuesday — a day when most Hindus in these parts of the country abstain from alcohol and non-vegetarian food. “We saw more rush on the weekend that has gone by, perhaps with couples preferring to celebrate it earlier,” says Marut Sikka, who runs fine dining restaurant Magique in the capital. 

Essar Group’s The Mobile Store, the largest mobile phone retailer with more than 1,200 stores, expects 10%-20% jump in samestore sales this Valentine’s Day season, supported by mall is celebrating ‘Love and Cruise in Style’ wherein anyone shopping for . 5,000 and more get a chance to win a Harley-Davidson bike. The celebration is on till February 29. JW Marriott hotel in the city will have a gala candlelight dinner with unlimited spirit and food, complete with the live music of Ludhiana-based disc jockey DJ Bhanu, for an all-inclusive . 4,500 per couple. 

Apparel and jewellery retailers a zero-interest EMI scheme. Almost 35-40% of the sales are happening through zero percent EMI schemes, The Mobile Store CEO Himanshu Chakrawarti says. Nokia and Samsung, the top two mobile phone makers, are seeing more demand for ‘passion’ colours like orange, pink, red and white. Samsung estimates a 10-15% spike in sales. In Chandigarh, DLF City Centre such as Reliance Trends, Pantaloons, Tanishq and Swarovski expect 10%-20% growth in sales during Valentine’s Day. 
Reliance Trends CEO Arun Sirdeshmukh, however, says that some consumers are down trading. “Those who used to buy big expensive brands are now opting for national brands, while those who chose national brands are now looking at private labels for better deals,” he says.
In the case of jewellery, retailers are tapping the market with small, stylish and urbane pieces that find favour for this occasion.
Sukanya Dutta Roy, consumer goods business head of Swarovski India, says, “There is a lot of intelligent gift buying in the market now as far as display of emotions is concerned. In that sense, the market has evolved since earlier times.” Some things, however, remain the same. The fascination for red roses is one.

Florist Ferns ‘N’ Petals has seen a 50% increase in Valentine’s Day business this year. “While carnations and chocolates do good business, nothing enjoys as much popularity as the red rose on this day,” says its MD Vikaas Gutgutia. Even for him, three out of every four customers are women. “Women indulge more,” says Gutgutia.