Florists pining for customers on Valentine’s Day amid lower sales

February 14, 2014

Florists in San José’s Central Market are looking to move a lot of roses this Valentine’s Day despite weaker sales in recent years.

“The rose is love, it’s passion,” said Sonia Coredera, owner of La Flor de la América in the Central Market, where she has sold flowers for 60 years.

“I don’t know why people like roses so much – especially women. Roses are so pretty, no matter what the color, as long as they’re roses.”

But complaints of higher wholesale costs of the flowers have florists longing for sales of yesteryear.

“(Valentine’s Day) is an important day for us for sales, but the cost of flowers is a problem. The country exports a lot and it raises prices locally,” said Ariel Solano, whose family has run a flower shop on Central Avenue for 18 years.

“The economy is tough. School’s back in session so people have to buy school supplies, notebooks, uniforms. With all that, the money doesn’t go as far,” Coredera said.

“Today, we’ll sell 100 of these and still have some left over,” said florist Giovanni Granados, whose stand sits near the Costa Rican Central Bank, gesturing to a dozen long-stem roses. “Twenty years ago, we would sell out of 800 of them,” he said.

Another florist inside the Central Market agreed that business wasn’t what it used to be but declined to give her name. “Tastes change, people go out for dinner more nowadays, buy other things to show their love,” she said.

Mary Martínez, an energetic vendor at La Casa de las Flores in the Central Market was more bullish about the holiday.

“It’s a great time of year for commerce in general, not just flowers,” she said. “The money moves around, people want to give gifts (of) flowers, chocolates, rings, cellphones.”

If you’re trying to penny pinch this Valentine’s Day, most of the vendors recommended the elegance of a single rose, which sells from ₡1,500 to ₡3,000 ($3 to $6).

Deals on flowers are unlikely, since most of the florists said their prices go up starting Feb. 1 in anticipation of the holiday.

Coredera and Solano added that Gerber daisies were another popular, more economical option.

Martínez suggested a little something extra: “Buy her a rose and a chocolate, something to sweeten her up.”

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
147 views
sports
147 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
178 views
Human rights
178 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
207 views
The Alvarado Administration
207 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…