Some traders in the Tema Central Business District have said the high cost of gifts and souvenirs was affecting patronage ahead of Valentine’s Day celebration on Sunday.
Mrs Mary Ofori, a provision shop owner at Tema Centre, told the Ghana News Agency at Tema that customers hardly came around to buy valentine gifts and souvenirs.
She attributed the low patronage high cost to increased duties, restrictions at the major entry points and the general fear of COVID-19.
Mrs Ofori said that most people were buying chocolate instead of Panties, Teddy Bears, Wine, Jewelries, Irish cream, Toffees and flowers that used to be the preferred gifts in the past.
She said students from the Junior High and Senior High schools mostly buy toffees and chocolates.
Sometimes few guys prefer to place an order for hampers for their loved ones.
She said although there was low patronage, she was optimistic that sales would improve on Sunday, the Valentine Day.
“It’s a one-day celebration, so if you are not a smart business dealer, you may run at a loss.”
Madam Rose Arthur, a customer, attributed the low sales to the no meny syndrome.
“It seems there’s no money in the system. It makes the rate at which we used to purchase gifts and souvenirs very slow.”
Madam Arthur said that she was aware of Valentine’s Day but her lover had travelled outside the country.
Ghana has christened the Saint Valentine Day Celebration as National Chocolate Day to shift attention to the promotion and patronage of chocolate for healthy living.
Meanwhile GNA observed that along some principal streets in Tema, traders had decorated their shops with Valentine gift items, hampers and decorated their front views with red flowers or ribbons to get into the celebration mood.
Hawkers have also besieged major streets taking advantage of the season to sell the Golden Tree Chocolates.