For the young at heart it may be just moments of love, romance or even sneaking chance to drop a romantic hint, but for flower sellers in the capital, the Valentine's Day meant big bucks pouring in. They grossed over Rs 262 million ($6.6 million) in a single day.
While retailers in the national capital registered flower sales of over Rs 252 million, the flower wholesale market in Connaught Place in the heart of the city grossed a little over Rs 10 million.
"The capital has a total of 2,100 flower retail outlets and each retailer sells about 6,000 roses on the V-Day, ranging between Rs 20 to Rs 50 per rose bud. So, retailers earn about Rs 252 million in a single day," NC Pandey, owner of Celebration Flora, a wholesale shop for fresh flowers, told IANS.
"There are about 100 wholesalers of fresh flowers in Delhi. Of them, nearly 20 deal with roses. As rose rules the roost on the occasion, its wholesalers earn no less than Rs 5 million in a day," Pandey pointed out.
Commenting on the sales, Birju Bhai Pradhan, president of All India Cut Flower Growers and Suppliers Association, said: "There are nearly 1,000 flower traders in the wholesale market, out of which about 40 are the bigger ones, who earn at least Rs 500,000 on the V-day while the income of rest ranges between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000."
Contrary to expectations of flower traders, the wholesale market did not witness overwhelming business this year.
"Every V-day, the market registers at least 25 per cent growth. However, this year the business was almost equal to the business we did last year - nearly Rs 10 million," said Pradhan.
But flower dealers are upbeat about the business in the coming years.
"Maybe because of cold weather, the sales were affected adversely. However, the craze of the occasion is increasing every year, so we are hopeful about next year," he added.
"In 2006, we grossed Rs 10 million on V-day. In 2007 it was Rs 15 million and this year the sales raked in almost double of last year," said Pawan Gadia, vice-president of chain flower boutique Ferns 'N' Petals Group.
"There is a remarkable increase in the business we are doing on V-Day, and I am upbeat about its future," said Gadia, who is also department head of the e-commerce and retail arms of the group.
Gadia said the country's flower market is worth no less than Rs 4 billion, out of which exotic flowers account for 25 per cent.Valentine's Day grosses Rs.262 mn for flower sellers