Valentine’s Day brings out a range of strong customer reactions from the sweet and romantic to the smokin angry – and everything in between. While people at both extremes are interesting, the angry ones are especially so as I’d love to know drives them to react that way to what I see as a reasonably harmless retail season.
I love the customer who shares anticipation about the card or gift they have bought and about what they may receive. I also love the customers outside the usual who buy a card or gift – especially those 70, 80 and older. It’s sweet. I also love the kids buying cards. In fact that’s a real treat – seeing a teenage boy or girl agonising over a card for young love.
Yes, Valentine’s Day is a commercial season, one we gladly support for all its commercial glory but it is also a season drenched in tradition and expectation and we newsagents play a role in reinforcing the tradition and in helping people find fulfilment from expectation. In our small businesses we get to see people engage more so than in other places where a Valentine’s Day card or gift is just another SKU. Across the newsagency counter, as with much of our interaction, it is more personal.
This is what is special about seasons like Valentine’s Day for small business newsagents, the opportunity for us to watch people as they engage with their feelings, and the opportunity to engage with them. It’s a pleasure not many retailers have, one to cherish.