Amid preparations to celebrate Valentine’s Day, an overall economic decline and changing patterns among buyers are posing a challenge for florists as well as gift shops in the city. With low footfall in the first half of the day, sellers said they hope to see sales improve subsequently.
Manoj Kumar, who has been selling flowers on MG road for the last 30 years, said, “We buy the roses in bunches of 20 for Rs 300. We raise the price for the 13th and 14th as the market value rises due to demand. But of late, there are fewer people buying flowers. There was a time when we used to prepare for Valentine’s Day by purchasing 100 such bunches so that we do not run out. We also used to get an average of 10 orders of bouquets. This year, we have no prior orders and some people are just buying single roses. After these two days, the roses will perish and we will have to throw them all out.”
D N Godse, who has been a florist since 1986, reiterated that the practice of buying flowers was no longer prominent. “We try to sell out as many (flowers) as possible. But over the last few years, the trend of buying flowers is drying up. When it comes to flowers like the rose, they get soft very easily, and if people do not buy them in the season, we have to incur losses,” he said.
“Gifting patterns have changed among people due to economic decline. Earlier, people made plans and bought gifts days prior to Valentine’s Day. Now, it has become a last-minute purchase that fits the budget. We are anticipating footfall to increase later in the evening,” said Vinodkumar Arora, owner of the Archies store at M G Road.
Some college-goers also said that the conventional ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day are changing slowly.
Piyush Dongre, a final-year engineering student, said that instead of focusing on only one day, people should spend time with their partners every day of the year. “People no longer conform to conventional ways of celebrating. The prioritisation has changed and gifting is the last thing. Instead of buying flowers and teddy bears, which serve a purpose for just one day, we try to gift something that the other person might need, like a notebook,” he said.
Yash Tope, a second-year media student from Garware College, said that people who are single should celebrate themselves on February 14. “People should get out of the idea that singles mope on Valentine’s Day. Watch a movie, treat yourself…” he said.
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