Trivia question: Which sells more flowers, Valentine’s Day or the Flower Market in Victoria Park?
Tick, tick, tick… Time’s up. Check out the office reception and you’ll probably come up with the answer: none of the above.
Blame it on the holiday effect. Many couples are already away from Hong Kong, taking advantage of the long Lunar New Year holiday.
On the mainland, people are going back to their respective hometowns, or traveling abroad, making it less likely for Romeos to be sending flowers to their Juliets. (No argument, people now prefer to order flowers online, but still overall sales are unlikely to record a significant growth.)
Alas, the fact that Valentine’s Day came on the eve of the Lunar New Year is just as bad as when it falls on a weekend when men could save money on flowers as it’s a non-working day.
But good news for flower buyers: wholesale prices for roses this year are higher than usual due to the odd weather which has cut production by 30 percent, but retail prices are lower because the demand is really down.
A bunch of Ecuadorian Roses with Baby’s Breath costs around HK$200 at Victoria Park, according to Wen Wei Pao. That’s a screaming bargain.
A bunch of 99 roses – it becomes a perfect 100 if you include the flower sender who will then pop the question – costs HK$3,980. That’s not bad at all, considering that we’re talking here of a bid for life-long union, or so it seems at the moment.
Over at the flower market in Mong Kok, many people queue up for potted plants and orchids, hoping that the long boom market in equity and property will extend to the Year of the Dog.
For two days, I visited the flower market at Victoria Park, where people snaked in and out of the colorful stalls from day to night. I noticed that the crowd was not as huge as before. Many of the daffodils and other flowers have yet to attain their full blossom.
But as the weather is getting warmer, daffodils could just bloom at the right time to cheer you up. And don’t worry about the flower stall owners. More people looking for big bargains will come and buy their flowers just as the New Year Fair is down to its last hours.
Well, have a happy Valentine’s Day, and an even happier Chinese New Year!
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