John Legend, R4,500 roses and kinky fortune cookies: what South Africans will gift on V Day

13 February 2020 - 12:36 By NIVASHNI NAIR
South Africans dig deep to spoil each other on Valentine's Day.
South Africans dig deep to spoil each other on Valentine's Day.
Image: Thinkstock Images/Gallo Images

One South African lover wants the driver who will deliver his gift to his Valentine on Friday to serenade her with John Legend's All of Me.

“We think it's best for the relationship if our driver just smiles upon delivery,” NetFlorist spokesperson Thalissa Pillay told TimesLIVE.

From R4,500 splurges on red roses to various quirky requests, South Africans appear to be going all out for Valentine’s Day. 

By midday on Wednesday, online florist and gift delivery company NetFlorist had received 22,398 orders for the big day.

More than 900 drivers will deliver at least 180,000 stems of roses across the country.

While red roses continue to be a firm favourite on the day of love, SA lovers are also opting for unusual items.

This year, a personalised giant fortune cookie with a naughty twist has been a hit.

Love may be in the air but none of the delivery company's Valentine's customers are ready to tie the knot just yet.

“We had two marriage proposals at the beginning of the year, but nothing for Valentine’s Day 2020. It seems as though the leap year hasn’t changed female buying behaviour,” said Pillay.

“The first proposal was done using one of our rings and the other was with a bouquet of roses. NetFlorist has had 14 proposals since it was established in February 1999.”

Last year the company experienced its biggest fail since its establishment, when it couldn’t make deliveries on Valentine's Day due to heavy traffic and rain.

“We had a whole year to make sure we do not have a repeat of this. We have decreased the quantity of orders that can be accepted for delivery on both February 13 and 14.

“We are aware that load-shedding will affect traffic, connectivity for mobile networks and operations as a whole, so we have ensured that we decrease each driver's load to deliver timeously, especially in light of Valentine’s falling on a Friday this year,” Pillay said.

LOVE IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS

And according to a new study of card transactions, SA's love economy continues to grow, with Valentine's Day spend up 11% and the overall number of transactions increasing by 36% over the past three years. 

According to the Mastercard Love Index - which examines spending habits and trends around Valentine's Day by analysing debit, prepaid and credit card transactions - gifting “experiences” are outpacing traditional gifts like cards and jewellery, with hotel bookings up 22% and total spend up 9% since 2017.

“This takes hotels to the top of the list in terms of South African Valentine’s Day spend, accounting for 38% of total spend in 2019,” Mastercard said in a statement.

Food continues to be a safe way to people’s hearts, with spend in restaurants continuing to increase for Valentine’s Day year-on-year.

“Since 2017, there has been a 39% increase in the amount of Valentine’s Day transactions in restaurants, with overall spend increasing by 23% to reach $11.6 million (R171.9 million) in 2019.”