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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Valentine's Day 'will boost business'

By Tang Zhihao (China Daily)

10:15, February 13, 2012

Will you be buying chocolate for your sweetheart? Hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and even flower vendors see this year's Valentine's Day, which is on Tuesday, as a big business opportunity after the Chinese lunar New Year holiday. (China Daily / Yang Yi)

Chocolates and flowers said to be high on the list of priorities for young sweethearts

SHANGHAI - Businesses in China are expecting a new boost after the New Year and Chinese Spring Festival spending frenzies thanks to the forthcoming Valentine's Day.

Although Valentine's Day is not a traditional festival in Chinese culture, it has received wide recognition among young people over the past decade. They consider it to be a good opportunity to express their love and some young men even try to persuade girlfriends to become brides in creative ways.

It's good news for retailers because most lovers will exchange small gifts to commemorate the occasion. Florists started to receive orders two weeks before Feb 14 and chocolate makers also increase their supplies to meet booming demand. Hotels also started receiving bookings several days ago.

To better meet demand, businesses are sparing no effort to ensure they have something new to attract attention. For instance, some restaurants in Shanghai are offering big discounts to customers who walk in hand-in-hand.

Godiva, a luxury Belgian chocolate brand with outlets in six cities on the Chinese mainland, said it has cooperated with Spanish designer Jaime Hayon to design special packaging for Valentine's Day.

"Valentine's Day is one of the most important days for chocolate retailers. We need to make sure we can offer something different every year," said Quasar Liang, senior marketing executive of Godiva (Shanghai) Food Trading Co Ltd.

Florists expect to make substantial sales on this Valentine's Day, more than last year's when it came three days ahead of the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival and four days after the Spring Festival holiday. That is a time when many young people prefer to stay with their family rather than sweethearts. Many businesses said sales in 2011 were not as good as expected.

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