If you are planning to buy a Christmas tree this year, prepare to shell out some extra bucks. And, it is not without a reason. The cost of imported trees has gone up by at least 10 per cent, thanks to the rupee’s fall in value against the dollar.
The decorative trees, which are imported from China, are sure to cost you a fortune. “The cost of a five-feet-tall Christmas tree last year was Rs. 7,000, and this year, it is priced around Rs. 8,000,” said K. Naresh, senior marketing executive, Shradhha Extension, Secunderabad. However, customers are offered a discount this year, he claimed.
Another store owner from Secunderabad, on condition of anonymity, said he had not imported new stock of trees this year fearing poor sales, as the cost of trees ranged between Rs. 400 and Rs. 25,000 last year, and that any further increase in prices may not be good for business. “I have lot of old stock from last year, so it will be enough for this time,” he added.
Mr. Naresh said the smallest and cheapest tree at his outlet was the one-and-a-half-feet one, priced at Rs. 400, while the costliest was 15-feet tall, and it cost a whopping Rs. 58,000 after discount. “The prices of other sizes like the eight- or 10-feet trees also vary, depending on girth,” he explained, adding that sales were a bit down this year due to price rise.
But, one should not overlook the flip side. The trees are not sold with decorations, and customers have to spend more on them. The most sought-after items to embellish the trees are bells, colourful balls, gift boxes, garlands, beads and Santa Claus clothes.
Among them, bells have the highest demand, and they cost between Rs. 75 and Rs. 1,800. “All Other decorations are also priced in the same bracket, depending on what one chooses,” said Mr. Naresh.
The United Christmas Celebrations Committee will hold its annual celebrations on December 18 at St. Mary’s High School, Secunderabad, instead of the usual venue at Lalitha Kala Thoranam, Public Gardens. Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan will be the chief guest at the fete, which begins at 5.30 p.m. and will feature events like quiz, T20 cricket, and carol competitions.