Demand for real flowers withers as prices soar

JOHOR BARU - Don't be upset if you get fake flowers this Valentine's Day. Blame it on the rising costs.

The high prices are eating into the pockets of lovebirds with many opting for plastic or paper bouquets.

Real blooms, according to many florists, are double the price for those wanting to toast their love on Feb 14.

K Flower Talk co-owner Kweh Hui Yee said artificial flowers came in different sizes.

"One of my customers requested for a bouquet with the flower stalks stretching as long as 0.61m," she said at the KSL City shopping complex here.

She said that bouquets arranged with chocolates and teddy bears had gained popularity, especially among the younger generation, as they were much cheaper compared to fresh flowers.

"Customers would usually complain about the steep hike on prices of blooms as Valentine's Day approaches.

"So, we are expecting them to switch to plastic flowers," she said, adding that she expected a 50 per cent increase in sales this year compared to last year.

Kweh, whose plastic flower bouquets ranged between RM30 (S$11.40) and RM400, said she hoped to sell about 400 bouquets this year.

De'Boxspot Creative Concept Store marketing manager Edmund Tio said plastic flower bouquets were not only cheaper but also lasted longer.

"Fresh flowers wilt in two weeks unlike plastic flowers, which could also be used as decoration," he said.

Tio also said bouquets decorated with cute toys, such as Minions, Hello Kitty and Lilo & Stitch, were in demand.

"Customers can choose their preferred teddy bears and chocolates along with their choice of flower colour to create a personalised bouquet for their sweethearts."