Floral departments work
together with other departments to cross-merchandise and spread
the seasonal bounty throughout the store.
As the foliage hues turn in reflection of the season, and
markets brim with fresh-picked fare, customers develop a taste
for the harvest bounty. But autumn merchandising doesn’t have to
be just hay bales and pumpkins. Your florals can be stars of the
season as well, and to help you learn how, Senior Editor Shelley
Urban asked three floral leaders: What are your best
cross-merchandising strategies for fall?
We try to start our fall
merchandising—and have a good display up—by Labor Day, and that
runs at the front of our department and elsewhere in the store
At our main entrance, in the “farmer’s market pavilion,”
which is an extension of our store that is open year-round to
showcase seasonal merchandise, we make a big cross-merchandising
effort with grocery, produce and floral. We have huge displays
of croton plants and garden mums, both 10-inch and gallon-size,
along with scarecrows and pumpkins.
Inside the store, we place fall mixed-floral bouquets in
both the produce department—in and around their ornamental
squashes, pie pumpkins, and so forth—and in the bakery. As
customers are picking up those items for decorating and
celebrating, they can also find flowers to match. Also in the
bakery, above the area where decorated cakes and cupcakes are on
display, we [float] fall balloons to help draw attention to the
We also create fresh arrangements in hollowed-out pumpkins.
(To keep them from drying out, we put a few drops of vegetable
oil inside and spread it around, which helps to seal the
inside.) We put the arrangements in the pharmacy area and the
coffee bar, and they give a wonderful fall look to the store,
but they are also for sale and have visible retail tags
attached, so customers can easily pick them up for purchase.
Melinda Ralson, floral
Brookshire Grocery Company, Store No. 51
Fall is the most enjoyable
time to merchandise because there are so many wonderful colors
to work with. By the first of September, we really kick into
fall, and at this time of year, mums are important, so we make a
large display that makes a statement near the entrance to our
store. At the base of the mum display, we place lots of fall
leaves, and we encircle it with croton plants. We use lots of
general merchandise to dress up our mums, including fall
containers and crates. And we often accent them with fresh
gourds, impaled onto picks and inserted into the mum plants.
We also create a lot of door swags during fall. We start
with wreaths from GM and embellish them with fruit from produce
as well as preserved fall leaves and drieds and silks.
For fall 2010, we’re planning a huge cornucopia near the
main entry. It will feature merchandise from other departments
including canned goods, tableware, and, of course, our mums and
croton plants as well.
In the past, we’ve promoted our fresh centerpieces near
the front of the store on a table that was set for Thanksgiving
dinner. It even had a baked turkey and other trimmings. For the
holidays, we all try to come together as a team, and it always
works really well.
Ann Mair, floral manager
Days Market; Heber City, Utah
Most of the time, when I
bring in items from other departments, I use them to embellish
my displays. So, in fall, I get pumpkins and Indian corn from
produce, scarecrows from general merchandise, and various
color-coordinating merchandise, such as beverages, [from around
Because we get much of our produce locally, peaches are
delivered in orchard baskets, and we save those baskets and use
them to hold pairs of 8-inch garden mums. We drop them into the
baskets, accessorize them with corn and tie a big bow to the
We also use pie pumpkins from the produce department to
create small fresh floral centerpieces, which we sell early in
the fall. And I’ll put some of our balloons, especially pumpkins
and scarecrows, in the produce area to highlight their fall
Terri Hasty, floral
ValuMarket; Mount Washington, Ky.