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COVID-19: Ghana to go ‘e-valentine’

Online and social media platforms are likely to host lovers for this year’s Saint Valentine’s Day celebration on February 14, in Ghana.

This follows the closure of pubs, restaurants and clubs to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Despite uncertainties of how the celebration will go with the closure of entertainment centres, managers of gifts shops are aggressively marketing love products through all platforms, with e-commerce, leading arguably.

Ms Shani Khadijah, Chief Executive Officer of Chic Events, a dealer in Valentine’s Day packages, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that he was reaching his clients through e-commerce channels with less physical interactions.

“Most customers now prefer using the e-commerce way of doing business. They usually make payments through mobile money and e-cards, which is even better, because, the virus is fast spreading and there should be less physical interaction to prevent its spread,” she said.

Ms Khadijah said despite the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants and eateries, clients were still showing great interest in the celebration, some ordering for home deliveries.

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“In February last year, COVID was not intense in Ghana so I was advertising on both social media platforms and through physical interactions with people. This year has been different because it is solely an online advertisement and I’m enjoying it. The response is great.”

Ms Khadijah said her sales had sky-rocketed with the “special home delivery” service, which she said young lovers were using a surprise package for their partners.

Madam Yvonne Nuoriyee, CEO of Edible Treats, said she was well prepared for the celebration because she had purchased all necessary items needed for packaging and selling, especially online, due to COVID-19.

“I have already bought all needed items like chocolates, biscuits, drinks and other edibles for packaging which are selling at a usual pace,” she said.

“I do advertisements on various social media platforms as well and that has made people glued to my packages. Since the upsurge in COVID-19 cases, we conduct business using e-commerce channels and our customers are now used to it,” she said.

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Madam Nuoriyee said to ensure the protection of customers from the virus, packages were delivered to customers through delivery personnel with strict adherence to all safety protocols.

“I wash and sanitise the items properly before preparing the packages for customers. Dispatch riders are also supervised to observe all safety protocols to prevent them from spreading it to customers and vice versa. Customers who purchase from us physically are also supervised to observe all safety protocols before entering the shop,” she said.

Madam Nuoriyee said products like Boujee, Mi Amor, My Val, Bisc-Choc Bouquet, Mon Cherie and Money Bouquet, were already “hot cakes”, with many clients being online.

Mrs Shirley Galenku, a Senior Nurse, said she and her husband would celebrate the day online because she would be night duty.

She said she planned to order some gifts to be delivered to her husband and would also engage him online when less busy.

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Paul Asante, a Student, said because of the closure of entertainment centres, he would spend the day with his girlfriend in his house but “the fun will be online. We will be checking stuff online and connecting with others.”

The GNA gathered that customised towels, shirts and mugs, diaries, chocolates, wine and teddy bears are in hot demand.

—GNA