Tue, 30 Aug 1994

Bad business for plant sellers at Flona fair

JAKARTA (JP): Many plants sellers complained that they did not have good sales during the just concluded Flora and Fauna (Flona) exhibition, which was organized by the City Park Agency.

The 12th Flona, a two-week exhibition of house plants and pet animals held at the Banteng Square, Central Jakarta, was closed by Deputy Governor for Social Welfare Museno on Sunday.

Mrs. Toyib, a plant seller, said she often had to sell houseplants she grew from seedlings at half of their normal prices.

But the businesswoman said that she would rather keep the plants she bought from other sellers and later try to multiply them than sell them at prices much lower.

"My sales during the exhibition fluctuated dramatically. Sometimes I got Rp 100,000 a day but sometimes I had no buyers at all," she said.

"There are too many competitors here," she said flatly.

Santoso Wijaya, a plant seller who speaks English and whose large kiosk was abound with expensive rare plants echoed the same concern.

"Sales escalate only at weekends; on workdays sales are poor. In general sales are in a downtrend. Ask other sellers and they will tell you the same."

This sluggishness, Santoso said, was caused by the recession, rather than fierce competition among plant sellers.

However, Syamsir Alam, the head of the City Park Agency, said that plant sellers had exaggerated.

"That is not true. They said so because they are afraid of being charged higher taxes and of facing an increase in next year's rental kiosk rates," Syamsir said. (arf)