Slow sales for Valentine’s Day in Port of Spain

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kaylani Seabrun of Trinity Junior Anglican School was all smiles with her Valentine’s Day present on Duke Street, Port of Spain yesterday. – AYANNA KINSALE

Sales in Port of Spain were slow for Valentine’s Day, which came a day after Carnival Tuesday.

When Newsday checked with vendors on Wednesday, some believed that because the two days were so close together, customers did not come out to buy. However, others said that sales on Valentine’s Day have been slow for a few years.

On Charlotte Street, a business owner who did not want to be named said Carnival was to blame for her slow to zero sales for the day.

“Sales are dead. I only got one sale for the day and that was inside the store. They take all their money and spend it for Carnival and now they have no money. They can’t even buy a $20 rose,” the business owner said.

Cindy Cox, who comes from Arouca to sell Valentine’s Day items such as flowers, teddy bears, and small hampers with chocolates and perfume, said she decided to purchase less stock because of how close together the two days were.

“Once it falls around Carnival time, it will be the same,” she said. “It could have been better but the sales are alright.”

Other vendors believed the Carnival season did not affect sales, despite it being slow. Thomas James, a vendor from Maraval, said sales have been comparatively slower for years.

“People are not buying as they used to a couple years ago before Covid19. Sales moved faster then. People are more interested in buying food and drink than gifts,” he said.

Lyn Cassie, a Frederick Street vendor, said that while sales were slow, it was still better than Carnival, which was very low for vendors on that street. She said they suffered losses because no bands were passing on the street.

“Like the Mayor wasn’t studying the vendors. I found that it was very unfair. The only time we got any foot traffic was over Kiddies Carnival,” she said. “Look at what we went through to get a licence and at the end of the day it was a failure. All my stocks remained; all my Carib, Stag, Mackeson, everything remained. I only sold three Stag for Carnival Tuesday. I invested $20,000. I bought alcohol, clothes, and everything remained.”

She added that while Carnival and Valentine’s Day were close, people still remembered and celebrated the holiday.

“Valentine’s Day is not only for lovers, it is for children, mothers, fathers, everyone, once there is love in your environment and your home, Valentine is for everyone.”