Published on: Thursday, February 14, 2013
A shop personnel in Wisma Merdeka, Chung, said business was slower than last year perhaps because the date was so close to Chinese New Year and people are still busy celebrating. "Normally today there would be more customers of all races buying gifts for their loved ones, but it is less busy than last year," she said, Wednesday.
On whether there could be other reasons such as a recent call by certain quarters dissuading Muslims from celebrating the event, she said she didn't think so as many customers of all races and religions still came to purchase items for their loved ones.
"Prices have also not gone up on our gift items so I think the timing and date could be one of the reasons." The scenario was similar at another gifts shop selling fragrances. A sales assistant said there had been only a few customers.
"Last year we saw more customers. Maybe more will come after work in the evenings." She also reckoned the Chinese New Year celebrations could be a reason with many having gone to their hometowns.
"Also to there being more shopping centres and the crowd more spread out," she said. Checks at a chocolate dealer found sales have increased during this Valentine's cum Chinese New Year 2013 period.
"We have actually seen a rise in orders for our chocolate items during this Valentine's period. Tourists also buy our Valentine chocolates for their loved ones back home," said Manager Zoey Siaw.
"We offer a personalised chocolate where we can write personal messages on our chocolates. Some of our customers ask for this so as to give a personal touch to their chocolate gifts," she said.
If there is one business that continues to enjoy brisk sales at this time is the florist. "This issue (discouraging people from expressing their affection through flowers) has not affected my business.
"In fact it has boost my business by 30 per cent because they alert people about Valentine's Day," said one owner, Lucy Chin.
"Valentine's Day is a day of love and has nothing to do with religion."
Chin who started the business with her mother, Margaret, 30 years ago, said she noticed a lot of women getting diamonds but very seldom receiving flowers. "If they do receive flowers, they would be very happy because flowers represent love, gentleness and care.
"But I've not seen anybody who really don't like flowers because even men like flowers," she said, adding that she also enjoys receiving flowers from her loved ones.
Her customers range from young and old, from various races.
"Some old men are so romantic they give flowers to their wives every year and some children would give flowers to their mothers.
"I'm very happy that a lot of loving sons give flowers to moms which is so nice because parents should be appreciated and anybody who doesn't appreciate their parents are worse than dogs," she said.
"We try to give them something new every year and this year we have roses from China and Peninsular Malaysia, tulips from Holland and all sorts of fresh flowers.
"The price ranges from RM30 to RM300 but it depends because it is not only flowers but a combination of flowers, teddy bears, chocolates, to enhance the beauty of flowers.
"Although chocolates and teddy bears are very old fashioned some people still like it and we will deliver it even if it's just one bouquet," she said, adding they have also receive requests from Australia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and all over Sabah.