Love in the time of recession does not make for a very lovey-dovey affair, after all. And whoever thought lovers could jolly well live on love and fresh air, probably had a second think coming this Valentine’s Day, more than ever.
The state of the romantic economy saw a divided portrait of love this year. While singles counted every penny to please their Valentines, the settled couples made do with a cost-cutting exercise. The market value of love seemed to have crashed at Cupid’s love exchange this Valentines.
Florists’ worst fears came true, roses were offered at cut-throat prices, the discount supermarket chain Aldi lured male customers with lowest-priced flowers and promised that no woman would know where they were bought.
‘All her love for you for £20’ said an advertisement by M&S.
Jewellers reported decline in sales, chocolates were heavily discounted. Hotels advertised Valentine weekend stays at half tariffs. On timesonline.co.uk/moneycentral, tips were available for 10 ways to keep romance cheap.
“The sales were markedly less this Valentine’s Day,” said Kirit Patel, owner of one of the biggest and most popular perfumery and gifts departmental stores in north London. “People did buy perfumes and other gifts, but those who spent £75 last year for a Dior bought something for £40 this time.”
Sensing the credit-crunched V-Day, marketing mandarins came out with astonishing cost-effective creativity to combine love and frugality.
Low-key lovers were advised by to keep an eye on Pizza Express offers for eating for less. Advice was also doled out to stay in and order food, say from Waitrose, which was doing a three-course Valentine’s dinner for two for £10. But love messages and sweet nothings whispered in papers showed that the legacy left by St Valentine still survives vibrantly.
Sample this message: “Jamie I adore you, my sexy, porky broomstick. Can’t wait to marry you.” said it all.
And then there were other crisp ones like this: “Husband, love you — Xxx.” So was this wife a woman of few words? Or perhaps, she chose to keep her love bytes short and sweet. Darling, it’s recession time.