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industry talk

mother's day merchandising

Flowers are strong sellers for this important holiday, but looking outside your department for add-ons and other marketing opportunities can surely boost the bottom line.

     To help floral departments find creative ways to make the most of Mother’s Day opportunities, Senior Editor Shelley Urban asked three floral merchandising experts this question: What are your best or most effective cross-merchandising strategies for Mother’s Day?

We put bottles of wine in our floral cooler, and we might add a sign that reads, “Mom’s Little Helper.” And within the wine department, we place permanent floral arrangements with signs suggesting that flowers pair nicely with wine. We also bring in cookies and fun cakes from the bakery and put a permanent plant in that department with signage that reminds shoppers to consider plants for Mother’s Day. In “cool temp” departments, such as meat, we’ll place an inexpensive vase with a pretty arrangement and a card that reads, “Make her a steak for dinner, and add a gift from the floral department.” We place all our arrangements in prominent areas where they can be seen while customers wait.

[Like the wine], anything that can withstand the cold and humidity goes in the cooler with arrangements. We put birdhouses and ceramic birds in there, as well as mugs. We’ll also tuck a small plant or arrangement into a garden tote and add some garden tools.

This year, we’re going to try a class for kids, called “Goose Gardening.” We’re going to have lots of little terra-cotta pots and several flats of flowers, like Violas, and we’ll invite kids to sponge-paint their pots and plant flowers in them. There will be a small fee for the paint, pots and plants, but we’re hoping it will be great fun for kids.
Sue Villanova, floral manager
Blue Goose Supermarket
St. Charles, Ill.

For all promotions, it’s important to create a good team and work together to increase sales for every department. Here, the bakery makes a display of cookie bouquets, so we put our Mother’s Day gift baskets and candy with those. We also have a special package deal with our seafood department that includes two lobster tails, two filets and a half dozen roses for a special price.

We promote our specials with message repeaters, bag stuffers and screens on the registers that promote floral selections. And throughout the store, we have Mother’s Day balloons and signage. On the actual holiday, we give free carnations to all moms at the front of the store, and all female cashiers wear corsages to promote the corsage work we do.
Christina Mayo, floral manager and bridal consultant
South Fayette Shop ‘N Save; Bridgeville, Pa. 

We usually have a theme for each year, and the theme helps guide what products we pull into floral. This year, we might do a gardening theme, and since we’ll have our bedding plants by then, we’ll tie in garden merchandise, outdoor plants, hanging baskets and planters. Maybe we’ll use a patio set from GM to set up a garden-looking display, with watering cans, plant food and other items. We’ll also create [sales opportunities] in three or four other areas of the store. For example, the liquor department will feature a wine or liqueur for the holiday, so we’ll position a freestanding bouquet displayer near the featured liquor items, and we’ll use Mother’s Day balloons and signage with them also.

Chocolate-covered strawberries, made by the bakery, have been a huge hit for Valentine’s Day, so we may do that again for Mother’s Day. We [sample] those in floral and have packages of them in the cooler with roses. That’s been very successful. And, of course, we’ll put Mother’s Day balloons and an arrangement in bakery as well.
Teri Grigg, floral merchandiser
Schnuck Markets, Inc.; St. Louis, Mo.

Reach Senior Editor Shelley Urban at or 800-355-8086.


Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.