Along with the water guns, the arrival of floral shirts in stores heralds the coming of Songkran.
From banks to restaurants to grocery stores, Thais swap out uniforms for the colorful shirts to celebrate the coming of the hot season and the Thai New Year. And, this year, a bit of a price war has broken out, with even mobile phone vendors hawking flower shirts at rates forcing larger retailers to stage sales.
Somjit Sodkhomkhum, a clothing saleswoman serving New Naklua Market vendors, said strong demand usually means the Songkran shirts sell at list price. This year, however, she’s cutting 5-6 baht off the normal price.
Somjit Sodkhomkhum, a clothing saleswoman serving New Naklua Market vendors, poses with some of her stock.
Tourists have made up a bulk of her customers so far, but by the start of April she expected Thais to get their salaries and dress up for the holiday. Wholesale prices then will run between 20 and 30 baht per shirt, with many hotels buying shirts for employees.
On retail, the shirts sell from 150 to 200 baht each, depending on size. Price hardly seems to matter, she said, as Thais buy the shirts to celebrate their new year tradition and tourists want to get in on the action, she said.