Kampala, Uganda | URN | Florists in Kampala were forced into giving huge involuntary discounts for their products amidst low buyer turnout on Valentine’s Day.
On a usual Valentine’s Day, crowds flock florists and other gift shops to go shopping for the day. But now there were evidently low numbers of people shopping at Florists’ parlors in Kampala.
Joan Nakayiwa, the Manager of Ash’s Florist based at Grand Imperial Hotel, says people who were buying flowers were only bargaining, wanting a flower banquet to be sold to them for as low as 30,000 shillings, yet it costs 150,000 shillings.
Nakayiwa says last year was much better than this one because she got over 100 customers in a day. On Sunday 14, February 2021, she got only 20 customers by the time of filing this report, and she had a low expectation of getting more than that number by the time she closes.
Leonard Ninsiima was forced to reduce on the price of the gift humpers and flower bouquet from 300,000 shillings to 80,000 shillings just to sell off the products to avoid losses at the end of the day.
Sheila Nakazibwe, another florist operating at Sure House along Kampala road put the blame on the COVID-19 lockdown that was ordered by the government to halt the spread of coronavirus.
She angrily said that preventing the virus should simply have been about following the prevention guidelines but not shutting people’s businesses.
Peter Kuteesa, a customer at Haver’s Florists, who had just bought flowers for his loved one observed that it is unfortunate that the Valentine’s Day happened on a Sunday which several people take as a resting day and yet people are just struggling to recover from the COVID-19 impact while others saving school fees.
“Those are the reasons to why there is a low turn up of buyers,” said Kuteesa. “Buyers would have been many if Valentine’s Day had been on a week day when people crowd the city.”
However, David Makumbi who works at Haver’s Florists said he hadn’t expected many people to come but thanked God for the customers who have been ordering for flower bouquets since Friday. He also noted that buyers have been asking for discounts.
He says last year was amazing since it was a Saturday and people were in town enjoying the weekend. “We were able to make over 300 deliveries but since Thursday, we have so far made only 100 deliveries,” said Makumbi.