This year’s Valentine’s Day comes over a week after Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year), which explains why demand for roses has spiked up 40 percent over the same period last year, florists said.

“Last year’s Valentine’s Day occured at nearly the same time as Tet; however, the economic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic pulled the demand low,” recounted Phuong, manager of the Dalat Hasfarm flower shop on Hai Ba Trung Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

“This year is a different story.”

People started pre-ordering roses as gifts for Valentine’s Day early this week, Phuong added.

“Customers are not afraid to spend millions of Vietnamese dong for bouquets which are in trendy colors and attractive presentations,” she said.

Many flower shops had to enhance their workload and deploy more staff to make available varied options in both price and style for customers.

Many flower shop owners said it could cost buyers VND800,000-1,200,000 (US$35-53) for a beautiful bouquet of flowers this year.

Roses presented in heart-shaped models, the most iconic, are sold at VND2.5-4 million ($110-176) each bouquet, depending on size and the accessories included, florists said.

Ngoc, manager of a flower shop near Thi Nghe Market in Binh Thanh District, said consumers have to pay higher for beautiful bouquets, compared to last year.

“I see much larger increases in the wholesale cost, which ranges from VND280,000 [$2.3] to VND350,000 [$15.4] for a bunch of roses, while roses of the poorest quality fetch VND250,000 [$11],” Ngoc said. 

Red roses see the biggest jump in price when peaking at VND22,000 ($0.97) for a branch on this special occasion, while they were priced at VND16,000-18,000 ($0.71-0.79) on normal days.

“Some kinds soar as high as the imported roses, which has never been seen before,” Ngoc emphasized.

In dealing with the rose shortage, shops have proactively introduced different alternatives, in which orchids, peony, tulips, daisies, and ravenala are decorated along with chocolate boxes and heart-shaped patterns in Valentine’s Day designs.

In the meantime, increasing demand for souvenirs, high tech gadgets, jewelry, cosmetics, and cakes as gifts also elevates purchasing power prior to Valentine’s Day.

Many stores have offered their promotions, lasting up until International Women’s Day, due on March 8.

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