Saying it with flowers, gifts and meals on Valentine's Day
Delivery sites, local restaurants and grocery chains saw a surge in orders for gifts, dining and fresh flowers on Tuesday, celebrated as Valentine's Day.
The number of reservations by Shanghai customers for Valentine's Day lunches and dinners stayed at the country's top position, followed by Beijing.
Significant increase in restaurant reservations was also seen in cities like Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Guangzhou with a 120 percent annual spike, according to Meituan's online booking data.
Some restaurants were already fully booked two weeks before Valentine's Day.
Dianping's food reservation section started to offer a special page on February 5 for customers to book designated seats at popular eateries.
Lan Niao, head of branding at a local Shanghai-style restaurant Ren He Guan, expects couples to make up about 70 percent of diners on Tuesday evening, and the tables were already fully booked two weeks earlier.
The number of orders for Valentine set menus and related dishes as of Monday surged 550 percent from the same period a year ago, and the number of restaurants offering Valentine set menus also jumped 160 percent.
In the past week, Freshippo's sales of seasonal flowers jumped three times.
The grocery chain said it's offering over 40 kinds of fresh flowers for the festive occasion, compared with about 30 kinds last year, as it seeks more local suppliers for early-blossoming sakura and other popular types of flora.
Customers are favoring seasonal flowers such as sakura, magnolia, bellflowers and blue lace flowers instead of the ubiquitous rose, traditionally regarded as a symbol of love for couples.
Dada Group's delivery service also saw a spike in orders for beauty, personal care and jewelry gifts over the weekend compared with a week earlier.
The number of beauty and makeup set deliveries surged 10 times on the one-hour delivery service on JD Daojia at the weekend, with jewelry and apparel deliveries also jumping 10 times.
Tech gadgets, shaving kits and skincare were the top choice for female shoppers preparing presents for their other half.