Economic Hardships Rob Zimbabweans Of Valentine's Day

Less Zimbabweans are saying it with flowers this year, and even less with teddy bears and other romantic gifts, as hard economic times cast a cloud on the most romantic day of the year – Valentine’s Day. The day is an opportunity for public displays of affection.

Zimbabwe’s shops are stocked full of all things red and romantic, as retailers expect sales to spike but those who rely on Valentine’s Day to recover from the normal slump in sales experienced in January, are disappointed.

“Last year, we had high sales, but this year, except for the odd purchase, valentines related sales are almost next to nothing,” says a 
shop owner. 

It is still the best time of the year however for fresh cut flower sellers.

This year’s celebrations are dampened by a shrinking economy


Sales recorded in this week generally contribute a tenth of annual sales. Flowers are being delivered to their destinations.”So far so good but things are not as good as last year, maybe it has to do with the economy, but we always record high sales during the valentines period,” says Floribunda Manager Safebud Sifelani.

They are still doing brisk business but not as much as last year. This year’s celebrations are dampened by a shrinking economy and gloomy prospects for the year ahead.

The World Bank forecasts the economy to grow at a sluggish 1.5 % and the mood is reflecting in the slump in sales even on the most romantic day of the year. “In regards to volumes, I would say this year we have sold 10% less than last year,” says Sifelani.

Another possible explanation for the slump in sales, is the fact that 2016 is a a leap year – and it is the women that are supposed to treat the men this year.  

Some men did go shopping though. “I am buying for my wife and daughter. I don’t want to fight at home, so I want to get small flowers for everyone and hopefully they will do something big in return.”