Prices for beauty and fragrance products, especially perfumes, Wednesday soared in various markets in Lagos as Nigerians took to online to seek alternatives to mark this year’s Valentine Day.
Valentine Day, a holiday celebrating love and affection, falls on February 14, each year.
BusinessDay survey at various beauty shops, malls, on Wednesday, revealed that prices for perfumes sold between N1,500 and N2,000, were increased by over 80 percent to 100 percent.
While retailers boast of increased sales, Nigerians who had thronged the markets to buy gifts for their heartthrobs were forced to pay more, while others left disappointed.
Nigerians, who had made plans to feast on love and could not afford the prices of products presented to them, took to Google search engine to put smiles on the faces of their loved ones.
As of 2.08pm monitored by BusinessDay, Google ranked Nigeria as the 13th country, two places behind South Africa and five places ahead of Kenya, which came second in Africa, on the number of valentine day messages searches, just as the search for gift dropped.
Edo State led the country in the number of searches followed by Lagos and Abuja.
Some more operators who spoke with BusinessDay expressed happiness on the level of patronage, especially for beauty products, but confirmed prices for perfumes increment due to high patronage.
Judith Ese, assistant supervisor, Neixa Fragrance, in Surulere, said patronage was better compared with last year, which resulted to increase in the prices of fragrance products as demands was high.
“In the last two years, Patronage was low because of the recession. The prices of most of our items did not go up but this year we have to increase our prices, because we still have old stocks we bought when dollars was high. We just increased the price of some of our perfumes products from 1700-2000, 3000-3500, some up to 100 percent increment.
“However, discounts were offered in most products on displayed, this according to her is driven by demands,” Ese said.
Picodi, an online research firm, last week in his report, revealed that perfume was Nigerians’ most preferred gift on Valentine Day.
The research, which surveyed over 5,600 people from 32 different countries, including Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America, noted that out of 83 percent of Nigerians, 50 and 58 percent of male and females, respectively, preferred given out perfumes among other gifts.
Kelechi Chukuji, a banker who had visited a market store to buy gift for his fiancée, said he was shocked that the prices of her preferred perfumes had shot up by almost 32 percent.
“The last time she told me she got the perfume was for 6500, am surprise it has increased to 7000 between short period. I had no choice but to add it to the gifts I have prepared for her.”
Nne Obiara told BusinessDay, “I know things are tough but I plan giving my husband a treat this Valentine’s day in my own small way.
“My budget focuses on important things, especially now the price of everything is increasing and my salary is not. Valentine’s spending is a waste of resources.”