February 14, Valentine’s Day. As the date nears everybody’s heart starts missing a beat. All people, young or old, are busy planning on what to gift their partner or where to go to celebrate the occasion. And one gift that never fails is the ROSE!
In recent years, the trend of gifting roses to one’s partner on Valentine’s Day has grown so significantly that florists have started doing considerably good business. “On Valentine’s Days it is usually red roses that people are looking for,” shares Deepak Lama, owner of New Fresh Flower in Jawalakhel. He adds that on other days there is hardly any sale but on Valentine’s week he is able to sell roses worth Rs 350,000.
However, Lama mentions that this year sales have not been like in the previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Many people are still scared of visiting shops and are making online purchases which have dented our sales,” he informs. “I have been in the flower business for the past decade and this is the only year that we faced a downturn in this season.”
He adds that on normal days the price of a rose is Rs 50 but on Valentine’s Day it shoots up to anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 150.
Likewise, Bishnui Balami, proprietor of Ace Greenery Centre in Putalisadak, says that in normal times he used to have sales worth Rs 50,000 to Rs 150,000 a day during the wedding and Valentine’s season. “However, due to the pandemic we hardly have any customers these days and sales have plummeted,” he shares.
The floriculture business has been growing in Nepal in recent years, according to Balami. “Previously, we used to import nearly all our flowers from either India or China but these days 25% of the demand is being met through domestic nurseries,” he adds. “When I started this business about 16 years back there were only two shops in Putalisadak but now there are over 20 shops selling flowers,” he states.
Along with flower shops doing brisk business during Valentine’s Day, there are other businesses too that have started capitalising on this growing trend of people celebrating the occasion in Nepal. For instance, Yeti Airlines has announced a special offer on its mountain flights for Valentine’s Day. Passengers taking the mountain flight on the day will be provided free bus service from the airport to their homes. Passengers on mountain flights will also be given love gifts as well as a Smart Telecom SIM card with eight GB data worth Rs 1,000.
Similarly, Thee Go, a relatively new dealer of eco-friendly electric cars, also has launched a romantic offer for Valentine’s Day. The company has announced the 'Gift Your Valentine, Sustainable Happiness' deal where one gets to spend a romantic one-night stay in a luxury hotel or resort with their beloved Valentine on booking any Thee GO vehicle until 14 February. Dinner and breakfast will also be provided along with the offer.