Monday, February 17

Sales of Valentine’s gifts not affected by COVID-19

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From left: Lucy, Reduan and Pravin.

KOTA KINABALU: Florists are enjoying brisk business on Valentine’s Day and not affected by COVID-19 (coronovirus).

Reduan Armstrong, the third generation operator of Margaret Florist located at Jalan Dewan here, said their shop had been busy for the past few days not just because of the day of “giving loved ones flowers”, but also to prepare flower decoration at Sabah

International Convention Centre (SICC) in conjunction with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s arrival on Sunday.

“Since most of our customers are locals and regulars, we did not really feel the pinch of the virus.

“Even our flowers are mostly from India, so there is nothing to worry. Business is as busy as usual, and we are actually even more busy because of the job we got on Sunday,” said the 37-year-old Reduan, who is helping his mother, Lucy Chin looking after the flower shop, together with his wife Pravin Kaur.

According to Reduan, the price of their flowers is from RM10 to RM2,000 depending on quantity, type and arrangements.

Margaret Florist was founded in 1983 by Margaret Chin, the first generation of the family business.

Most of their staff have been with the company for decades, and they are working together as a big family.
Doni Amar, who has been working in the shop since 1984, said Valentine’s Day was one of the busiest days for them, but it would be extra busy for them if they were required to set up flower decorations outside the shop.

Doni, arranging flowers.

“We have been working until midnight for the past few days but that is normal because arranging flowers is not easy. We must make sure everything is beautiful.

“I have been arranging flowers for more than 30 years, and all of them here are like my own family. That is what “mommy” taught me,” said Doni, referring to Margaret.

According to Doni, red roses are the top selling flower during Valentine’s Day.

Sun Flower gift shop in Fajar Complex, Tawau was also not affected by COVID-19.

The gift shop operator, Maggie Hun said the shop had been operating for more than 20 years and sales were always good on Valentine’s Day.

A salesgirl with a Valentine’s Day bouquet at Sun Flower gift shop.

She said ten days before Valentine’s Day, sales were already up with married men leading the purchase followed by younger men.

The cash-flower (flowers made using RM5 and RM1) and ‘I Love You’ teddy bear were the hottest items, she said when met yesterday.

“We received many orders for flower-money and teddy bear, including delivery orders to loved ones and Valentines,” Maggie said while busy attending to male customers making their purchases and orders.