Women are hoping to get unconventional Valentine’s Day gifts from their admirers today. 
This is according to a survey by Kalahari.com, which found that, while some of South Africa’s connected shoppers hope to receive flowers or chocolates (14%); close to 20% say they would rather be gifted with EL James’ titillating Fifty Shades series. Published in June 2011 and gracing several best-selling books lists around the world since then, the trilogy is apparently still coveted by South African women.
Even more coveted is Johnny Castle, from ’80s romantic film Dirty Dancing. More than 21% of shoppers say they would much prefer to be gifted with a DVD of the film starring Patrick Swayze.
“Perhaps the current theatre shows around the country have rekindled the spark for this classic, but it is definitely one of the most popular movies on the site,” says Liz Hillock, head of marketing at Kalahari.com.
Adding a bit of techno-twist to the day, a massive 47% of shoppers say they would prefer a tablet as a Valentine’s gift.
“It may seem shocking that that the most coveted gift by women for Valentine’s Day is a tech device, but it is no surprise to us. From 2010 to July 2011, males were the predominant purchasers of tablets (64%) while the number of female tablet buyers was a mere 36%. We started seeing a change from August 2011 to date with 54% of tablet buyers being male and 46% female,” says Hillock.
While the number of respondents planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day has increased by 5% from last year, the majority of shoppers (41,9%) revealed that instead of an evening in a romantic restaurant, they will be finding alternative ways to spend the day.
Some shoppers say they will be sharing the love with friends over dinner and drinks (16,2%), while 15,4% say they will be having a romantic candle-lit dinner at home.
Although they are always forgotten at this time of the year, over a quarter of single shoppers say they will be spending the day reading their latest favourite book, while 17% of single indicated they would spend the day watching their favourite movie with friends.
The survey also reveals that shoppers will be a bit modest and frugal on how much they spend on gifts. Close to 40% revealed that they would be spending less than R250 on gift this year.
“Although women covet items such as tablets, many shoppers will also be opting for more affordable and down to earth ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. This is not an unusual trend after a generous festive season,” says Hillock.
The e-tailer says that books, music and DVDs are also popular purchase items over this period. One particular CD that is currently doing really well on Kalahari.com is The Only Love Songs Album You’ll Ever Need. The three-disk album features artists such as Maroon 5, Temptations, Barry White and Air Supply.