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Critical Mass

gifts for
the modern mom

Help your customers find the perfect way to pamper today’s busy mothers.

by Michael Russo

Mothers’ roles have changed throughout the years. In addition to caregiving and homemaking activities, today’s modern mom is carpooling, coordinating school events and, in many cases, working outside the home. These changes—and how you react to them—can affect how successful your Mother’s Day sales are.
What does today’s harried, time-pressed mom want for Mother’s Day? A recent survey revealed that many moms prefer gifts that appeal to the personal woman, not the day-to-day workhorse. Fresh flowers, floral arrangements, plants and decorative gift baskets ranked high in popularity.

what moms want
Customers entering your department are looking for gifts that send personal messages that touch the heart. Flowers are always appropriate.
Creativity is critical for satisfying these customers and increasing sales. It is important to suggest a variety of gift ideas including those that are used for pampering and relaxation. Flowers to warm the heart and personal care items to soothe the body and refresh the mind are great combinations. Gift baskets filled with an assortment of personal care products such as body lotions and gels, hand creams, bath salts, aromatherapy oils and candles, combined with flowers, will be seen by customers and their mothers as a clear sign of love and appreciation.

getting the word out
Signs that tell a story about the merchandise will work wonders for you. For example, “Give mom that special time to pamper herself by enjoying the scent of beautiful flowers while soaking in a bath of her favorite bath oil,” or “Help mom renew her spirits and make her feel appreciated for all that she does. Our florists can help you find the perfect gift.”
Enhance the shopping experience by placing signs in eye-catching locations so that these “silent salespeople” can suggest just the right flowers that will convey heartwarming sentiments. Make sure that all staff members are aware of the particular “language” certain flowers speak. This is a sure way to help undecided customers make selections and a perfect way to add value to purchases.
Advertising should reach beyond traditional floral artwork and photos and speak directly to the heart. Combining personal care products and flowers creates attractive ads and is a great way to increase the average sale.
Coordinate displays to reflect the creativity of your campaign, offer a variety of price ranges and appeal directly to the heart. I have no doubt that your customers will respond positively and continue to turn to you for other holidays and occasions. Creativity and suggestive selling can work wonders.

Michael Russo is owner and president of Industry Advisors, Inc., a consulting firm for retailer and wholesaler organizations specializing in the U.S. gift industry. He serves as a keynote speaker for retail stores, market centers and worldwide corporations, and he conducts seminars and workshops on merchandise display, business planning, advertising, marketing trends, customer service, vendor relations and a variety of other topics geared for business growth and profitability. He is also the president of the Gift Association of America. You can visit his Web site at, or contact him at (814) 288-1348.


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