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Valentine's Day 2017: More or less sales?

Valentineís Day is around the corner and since 2014, it will finally be celebrated on a weekday; a Tuesday. This provokes the question: will this be profitable for the flower business or not? Over the last few weeks, we've heard quite some different opinions. Generally, it can be noticed that many flower importers and florists are positive about this year's sales.

High expectations
Last year, Valentine's Day - always celebrated on 14 February - fell on a Sunday and during a long weekend and this year's falls on a Tuesday and it created higher expectations among flower growers and florists. The demand for Isreali Ruscus of Colombian grower Felipe Saldarriaga of Green Bouquet, for example, was higher compared to last year. He mainly exports his foliage to the USA and according to him, Valentine's Days on a weekday are often advantageous for people in the flower industry. "It often results in better sales", he says.

And the best and most profitable days for the flower industry to celebrate Valentine's Day seem to be on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. According to US flower wholesaler Cal-Nevada in Sacramento, published in the Ag Alert, and Ecuadorian grower Sebastian Padula of Josarflor, who exports roses to the USA and Europe, the demand for flowers are the highest these days.

"These three days, people are at their offices and order or buy flowers more often than on the weekends. Then, they go out for dinner or do something else", says Padula. Kenyan rose grower Peter Viljoen of Sunland Roses, who exports roses all over the world, adds: "I think that people, and men in particular, are probably more on the street on a weekday and then more easily pass by and enter a flower shop."

Also the Australia cut flower and foliage industry is excited about this year's Valentine's Day. For the last two years Valentineís Day has fallen on a weekend day, causing a substantial reduction in sales across the nation's industry. "In 2016 Valentineís Day fell on a Sunday, which resulted in a 20 to 30 percent drop in flower sales, with a similar result in 2015 when the day fell on a Saturday. This is because deliveries tend not to happen on a weekend and consumers want something on the day itself but also because people were away from work and quite simply forgot about it. The industry are anticipating that this yearís consumer spend on flowers is likely to be huge", reported the Flower Association in a press release.

High prices
And the high demand leads to high prices and this is visible at the Dutch FloraHolland auction. Last Friday, the auction's CEO, Lucas Vos announced a record price for the Red Naomi rose at the auction. He posted the following message on Twitter: "Today, Red Naomi sold for 5,95 euro. How much will it be in retail?"

The week before Valentine's Day (week 6) is one of the most important days for the International flower industry, so for Royal Floraholland too. Over 300 million flowers and 20 million plants passed the clock and the week turnover was about 140 million euros, reports the cooperation. Roses, tulips and red chrysanthemums are the most demanded flowers.

The majority of the FloraHolland's flowers are being exported to countries in Western Europe. And in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the UK, people often surprise their loved ones with a bouquet of flowers. The Dutch and German people often give a bouquet with mixed flowers and the British and French people a bouquet of roses.

Consumer spending: same or even less 
However, even though the high expectations for this year's Valentine's Day, the retail value of U.S. consumer floral purchasing is not expected to be higher. Last January, Prince & Prince, Inc. (P&P), released a projection for the retail value of U.S. consumer floral purchasing. Their projected market value for Valentineís Day 2017 is similar to P&Pís 2016 market value projection. The P&P U.S. consumer floral aggregate spending projection for Valentineís Day 2017 is $3.3 billion dollars at retail, including all fresh floral products (fresh cut flowers, including arrangements, bouquets, bunches, single stems, and corsages, and indoor potted flowering and foliage plants & planters) and any associated delivery/handling service fees.

On top of that, regarding the overall Valentine's spending this year, they are even expected to be lower than last year in the US. According to the annual survey conducted by the the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, which asked 7,591 US consumers about their Valentineís Day plans, the decade-long increase in Valentineís Day spending is expected to see a market correction this year. On top of that, the number of people surveyed who plan to celebrate the holiday has dropped by nearly 10 percentage points over the same period from 63 percent in 2007 to 54 percent this year.

So what will this year's Valentine's Day bring the flower industry?

Publication date: 2/13/2017



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