Thursday, 20 April 2017

Florists forecast strong sales of roses during Sant Jordi weekend


Barcelona (CNA).- Wholesalers at Mercabarna-flor, Barcelona’s Central Flower Market, are ready for Sant Jordi, Catalonia’s patron saint. Each year, on the 23rd of April, thousands celebrate love and literature by exchanging books and roses. This year, Sant Jordi falls on a Sunday and therefore wholesalers expect rose sales to start on Friday and last until Monday. This will allow them to maintain the same sales levels as last year's and reach the figure of 6 million roses. Although some customers may be away for the weekend, florists expect sales to be compensated by the increased number of tourists and visitors, which will flock to Barcelona, not only because Sant Jordi will take place on a Sunday but also because, exceptionally, many shops will be open.

The president of the wholesaler’s union at Mercabarna-flor, Miquel Batlle, admitted that rose sales may be affected by the fact that this year Sant Jordi is on a Sunday and therefore the companies’ orders may drop. However, he believed that Sant Jordi will expand beyond the 23rd of April and affect the whole weekend. “This year we will have a 4-day-long Sant Jordi,” he explained and forecast that companies will start distributing flowers to their workers on Friday. Moreover, on Monday some will still bring roses to their beloved ones. “There is no excuse for not giving a rose,” he said.

Thus, florists expect to maintain the same sales levels as last year's and reach the figure of 6 million roses. The average starting price will stand at 4 euros. The traditional red rose called ‘Freedom’ is expected to be the best-selling variety once again. White, yellow, and pink roses will continue on the rise, following the trend over the last few years.

The main innovation this Sant Jordi will have to do with the flowers’ wrapper. The idea is to gradually replace the traditional cellophane wrap with more ecological materials and with designs related to Sant Jordi. Pieces of pottery, fabric, craft paper, and recyclable materials will predominate this year.

Open for business

The main shops in the Catalan capital will be open exceptionally on Sunday, Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni, explained. The aim is to promote attract visitors and tourists to join in the celebration. Collboni also encouraged people to buy roses from flower shops rather than acquiring them from street-vendors. This will not only guarantee the rose’s quality but it will help shops which “have suffered the economic crisis and an unfair VAT”. 

  • roses

  • A bouquet of 'Freedom' red roses and white flowers on the foreground (by ACN)