christmas cross-merchandising Partnering with other departments can be a holly-jolly strategy for floral.
Some supermarket departments are naturally busier, or their products more in demand, during the yuletide, so it makes sense to display merchandise from and in other departments to capitalize on, or create, increased foot traffic. But we wanted to know the most effective sales-producing strategies, so Senior Editor Shelley Urban asked four floral leaders: When you cross-merchandise for the holiday season, do you place floral items in other departments, bring merchandise from other departments into yours, or both? And when you do, what works best?
I do place items in other departments, but we have an event in floral that creates a lot of interest and makes it beneficial to bring products from perimeter departments into ours. Each year, we host a gingerbread house contest, and the houses, which are decorated by everyone from kids and moms to professional bakers and artists, are on display for two weeks. We position poinsettias everywhere around the gingerbread display area, and we always sell out of poinsettias over the course of the contest.
We also have a themed tree that is decorated by perimeter departments. One year, we did a hot cocoa theme, and we assembled packets of cocoa and mugs and placed them on the tree as ornaments. Hot cocoa makers were at the base of the tree. We had candy and cookies from the bakery as well as nonfood items, such as greeting cards. I also wired four-inch poinsettia plants onto the tree; it looked really great! Rosie Tippetts, floral manager Maceys Store No. 1034; Pleasant Grove, Utah
In our store, we have a large display area near the front, and that’s where we build our seasonal displays. At Christmastime, we create a floral display and usually bring in Little Debbie Christmas cakes and Christmas cookies from the bakery. We also incorporate decorations from general merchandise. In floral, we make a display of scented pine cones, which always draws in customers. This area also features assorted fresh table arrangements for the holidays.
One item we place in other departments—usually bakery—is our candy “bouquets.” We make them with bar candy, such as foil-wrapped chocolate trees, on sticks inserted into decorated vases filled with small candy, such as red, white and green chocolate kisses. Those sell really well. Lisa Tapp, floral manager Albertsons No. 4176; Weatherford, Texas
We cross-merchandise with several departments during our busy holiday season to capture extra sales. We set up a table in produce or at the front of the store where a florist designs and decorates boxwood trees. We use crab apples and cranberries from produce, as well as ornaments, ribbon and fresh flowers, to decorate them.
We place a few of the decorated trees in other departments, but generally, we bring other items, such as candy and Christmas cakes from the bakery, into our department. The live demonstrations attract lots of customers and help sell the trees or inspire customers to order custom designs for their holiday tables. Sue Budlong, floral director Dave’s Marketplace; East Greenwich, R.I.
It’s really important to get our products out of floral. Christmas greens and some of our seasonal cemetery items are great outside, so we can catch customers’ attention even before they come into the store. We also like to put bouquets and poinsettias at the entrance because we think flowers create a good feeling for the shopping experience, and they can be an impulse purchase before customers are thinking about what they’re spending on groceries.
In floral, we like to tie in with other departments, especially the beer and wine department because it’s always a strong category year-round. And Ohio State items are big, so we add Ohio State merchandise, such as Buckeye chocolates, to our department.
Often, we’ll put a table by the registers that is filled with grab-and-go plants and bouquets, so we can catch customers on the way out, too. Like the entryway, this is a great spot to be. Jeff Tomassetti, produce/floral merchandiser Buehler Food Markets; Wooster, Ohio sfr