Gifts fly off the shelves ahead of Valentine’s Day

Kathmandu, February 13

Gift shops across Kathmandu Valley have been witnessing brisk business of various gift items, including cards, teddy bears, flowers and watches, among others in the past few days, ahead of the Valentine’s Day, which falls on Wednesday (February 14).

As Nepalis, especially youths, have embraced the Valentine culture since many years, sales of gift items have been on the rise since the onset of Valentine’s Week from February 7, as per operators of different gift and souvenir shops.

“Though the culture of gifting physical items on Valentine’s Day seems to be declining compared to the past years, Valentine’s Week is still like a festival for gift shops as the demand for gift items usually is high during this time of the year,” said Zina Shrestha, a staff at a gift shop in Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket.

Besides gifting cards, teddy bears, flowers and other gift items, people are also increasingly gifting other usable items like apparels, watches and mobile phones on the occasion, informed Zina Shrestha.

Pushpa Shrestha, owner of Pushpa Gift Shop at Mitrapark, said that the demand for various gift items during Valentine’s Week, New Year and the wedding season is higher and sales of gift items on such occasion account for almost 40 per cent of his shop’s annual revenue.

“Sales of flowers, especially roses — both natural and artificial — are comparatively higher for the Valentine’s Day,” according to Pushpa Shrestha.

Meanwhile, the country’s youths opine that Valentine’s Day is a festival to express love for near and dear ones. However, they also believe that gifting is not mandatory to express one’s feelings.

“Valentine’s Day can be simply celebrated by being together with loved ones or by giving a flower,” said Avisha Poudel, a teenager from Kapan.

Compared to other gift items, the demand for roses on Valentine’s Day is believed to be higher. In fact, the demand for roses in Kathmandu Valley is expected to hover around 250,000 units on Valentine’s Day this year, as per florists.

According to florists, a rose could cost between Rs 100 to Rs 500 in the domestic market depending on the size and colour. They also said that more than 80 per cent of these roses have to be imported from India for Valentine’s Day due to low domestic production.

“Demand of roses for Valentine’s Day is increasing every year and sales of roses during the Valentine’s Week account for more than half of the annual sales of roses. However, production of this flower is very low in the country,” said Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, president of Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN).