No money, no honey

Take a look at how business ventures are capitalising no Valentine's Day.


Hani Taha February 12, 2011

LAHORE: Cupid’s arrow seems to be pointing towards wallets this year instead of hearts. With each passing year, Valentine’s Day becomes more commercial with every business getting in line to cash in on the occasion. Whether it’s the florists or bakers or even television dramas, there are such few occasions any way for us to celebrate and anything that gives pleasure and keeps business rolling is welcome in the country.

As the only multinational jeweller in town, Damas keeps up with the global trends of celebrating events such as Eid and Valentine’s Day. Each year the brand offers a whopping 30 per cent off on their diamond jewellery with special promotions on certain exclusive Valentine presents such as heart-shaped pendants with floating diamonds.

This year the store held a fashion and jewellery show to depict the range of sets that the store carries from modern contemporary chic to the more traditional and bridal trousseau sets. With red-heart balloons and candles framing the entrance to the store, Damas had all that a woman could possibly want from a Valentine celebration fancy horderves and diamonds. With a compere like Ayesha Sana speaking not only about the brand, but its owner Ruby Choudhry and her friends, drawing in instances of ladies committee parties, she kept the ambience warm as she engaged with guests in her light hearted banter. “It is commendable that Damas does a sale at every occasion and gives us all a reason to celebrate every kind of joy be it something small or big,” said Sana.

Having an in-store event may have felt cramped to some, but it served its purpose in drawing in crowds of every age that may have not visited the outlet before. From scintillating diamond sets to a promotional range that carried beautiful rings such as the marquee for Rs78, 000 down from Rs0.1 million, the store had women hooked to their stalls.

An inhouse brand called Fulla ‘for your true jewel’ caught attention for its cute displays of small trinkets for young girls. The stunning stone encrusted Polki necklace that Ruby Choudhry herself wore set many a heart flutter, as did the myriad sets that the models adorned. With ensembles from Hasan Sheheryar Yasin the whole show tied in beautifully to demonstrate how brands of similar orientation can come together to make a strong visual impact and how the right kind of marketing can create awareness for a brand and stimulate business in times of recession with high end luxury products like diamonds.

Although diamonds are a girl’s best friend, ask any man what’s he getting his female friend or partner on any given occasion, and he’s bound to say a perfume. Perfumes are just the kind of present that nobody can ever go wrong with. So be it a birthday, anniversary, or Valentine’s Day, perfumes are on every man’s list. Cashing in on the moment, The Square launched a range of twelve designer perfumes at its swanky store in a simple catwalk show. A colour studio, skin care and perfumery lounge, The Square opened last year around Valentine’s Day as an answer to women who want premium cosmetics, but want the space to be able to try them on with ease without the shoving that usually accompanies shopping at most grocery stores.

In a clean and pristine environment, with coffee beans in jars tantalising your senses with wafts of delicious designer fragrances, The Square provides ample space for women to shop for cosmetics at leisure. Trained personnel sit you down on immaculate counters and personally take you through a tutorial on your skin and the range of cosmetics that would suit it. They educate you to the wonders that cosmetic brands such as Kevin Aucoin and La Bella Donna are, and treat you to a make over akin to any mega store operating internationally. Needless to mention, you leave the store feeling like a million bucks with that extensive attention and pampering.

Celebrating its first anniversary and Valentine’s Day, the store got young amateur models to represent each new brand that it was introducing. So a young model donned in a Kate Moss avatar walked around store’s red carpet spraying her namesake’s perfume on the guests. Celebrity models like Nomi Qamar, Iffat Omar, Mehreen Syed and Cybil Choudhry also walked for brands such as Hermes, Dolce and Gabbana, Guccu, Thierry Mugler, Van Cleef and Arpels, Jennifer Lopez, Canali, Chopard, Sarah Jessica Parker and Porshe Design. All in all, The Square presented its new range of perfumes amongst great fanfare and by holding a show created awareness not only for its own store, but for the high quality merchandise that it carries.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2011.

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