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Drop in flower sales, economic conditions remain thorny issues on Valentine’s Day

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Feb 13,2020 - Last updated at Feb 13,2020

Flower sales this year are reaching only 25 per cent of last year’s sales, according to a merchant (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Valentine’s Day this year does not appear to carry the vibrant and promising atmosphere of previous years, as citizens and a number of stakeholders in various sectors are complaining of a lack of business and opportunities. 

Five official Valentine concerts were announced for this year, which a Jordan Artists Association (JAA) member described on Thursday as a “very small number” compared to previous years, which normally total double or even triple of this year’s count.

Mohammad Abu Gharib, member of the control and inspection committee at the association, told The Jordan Times over the phone that, aside from the official concerts, many singers who perform at cafes and restaurants, “are working illegally, without committing to the Jordan Labour law and the JAA rules”.

“They are supposed to obtain permits before performing, and yet they illegally perform without paying fees to the association or taxes to the government,” Abu Gharib said, voicing hopes that the Labour Ministry will address the issue. 

Abu Gharib attributed the reduced number of concerts to the difficult economic conditions.

In previous years, he noted, conditions were better, but in 2020, Jordanian artists and singers are “struggling”.

 As for flowers and roses, an Amman flower shop said that business “is way down this year compared to last year”, noting that sales are reaching only 25 per cent of last year’s sales.

“All shops are struggling, because there are online shops that compete with those who work legally, and there are those who sell flowers and roses at traffic lights — all this affects our business,” an employee at the shop said, noting that even the customers who visit the shop tend to buy only a single rose at most. 

An employee at another shop said that if, hypothetically, they ordered 8,000 roses last year, this year they ordered only 4,000, and up to Thursday night, no more than 1,000 were sold.

The source reiterated how online sales have impacted their products, noting that those without shops who market their wares online do not pay any fees and “make a lot more” than shops that have fees, taxes and bills to pay.

“Even more, this year Valentine’s Day is on a Friday, which is a lot different than other days of the week. If it were on a weekday, couples would be able to go out, but many cannot go out or would not go out on an off day, which makes us worried that sales will continue plummeting, as once the day is over, it will be pointless to buy roses,” the source added. 

As for citizens’ take on Valentine’s Day, 25-year-old Amman resident Omar Thiabat said that he has never been to a concert on the occasion, noting that he is planning to spend the day watching TV shows and eating his favourite foods. 


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