Guys, fill up your pockets — the largest flower bazaar in Delhi has switched addresses, and so, Valentine roses will cost much more. Earlier, the popular wholesale flower mandi in Connaught Place was flocked by young lovers looking for cheap flowers on February 14, but now that the market has moved to the far-off Ghazipur area, both retailers and customers will have to spend more on the blooms owing to transportation costs.
“Previously, the wholesale market was in Connaught Place and the prices of roses on Rose Day (February 7) and Valentine’s Day would increase by 50% to 60%. Even then, it’d be much cheaper than the rates at retail shops, and youngsters would come in hordes to pick flowers for their lovers. But ever since the mandi shifted to Ghazipur last year, most of the regular customers have stopped coming, as it’s too far and inconvenient a location to travel to,” says Ajay Barua of Barua Flowers in the new Ghazipur Flower Mandi. He adds, “The basic wholesale rates aren’t very high, (a rose that’d otherwise cost R4 - R5 would come for Rs 10 - Rs 12), but transportation will increase the overall cost for retailers, and ultimately, customers will have to bear that expense. Nevertheless, retailers will do brisk business, as now, people are going to them instead of the wholesale market.”
On Rose Day, the prices of roses went as high as Rs 150 for a single stem in certain shops. Shopkeepers are expecting the prices to go even higher on Valentine’s Day.
“The prices of roses at our store on Rose Day went up to Rs 150 for a single stem. More than 800 roses were sold. On Valentine’s Day too, we’ll price the roses higher than we did the last year. Back then, roses were sold for Rs 350 for a single stem ... we also had a single item that was picked at Rs 1,000,” says Amit Sakhuja of Celebrations Gallery in Vigyan Vihar. “Where the wholesale market is located definitely matters. Prices of our roses are expected to go up to Rs 50 to Rs 100 this V-Day. Though red roses are the hottest sellers, red carnations have also picked up as a popular and cheaper choice,” says JR Nath of A Flower Galaxy in Kalkaji.
Lover boys aren’t happy. “It’s bad news. Girls love roses and we hate to over-spend,” says Amit Ranjan, an 18-year-old student from Vasant Kunj.
Give Ghazipur a try
Okay, it’ll be a longer ride, but if you’re really looking for a good deal on flowers on Valentine’s Day, make a trip to the wholesale flower mandi in Ghazipur. There’s a lot of variety to pick from, and the presence of many dealers makes bargaining easy. Nearest Metro station: Anand Vihar. Take an auto-rickshaw from there.