Page 10 - Super Floral > June 2015 Issue
P. 10

(top) Gelson’s floral departments offer mass displays of featured products, like  what sells best
these colorful orchid plants.
(middle) Sunflowers are another signature item, and the stores often display         Gelson’s buys most of its flowers direct from
as many as 10 cases at a time.                                                    growers, with about 95 percent coming from Califor-
(bottom) Hydrangeas, shown here in trendy green and white hues, are top           nia farms and the rest from international suppliers.
sellers among blooming plants.                                                    Before Floral Director Alice Grazziani joined the
                                                                                  company about three years ago, Gelson’s bought
26 / june 2015                                                the bulk of its products from the Los Angeles Flower
                                                                                  Market, where the company has its own office and
                                                                                  is able to see new varieties of flowers at the begin-
                                                                                  ning of the season. Alice streamlined the ordering
                                                                                  for efficiency, but the floral operation also continues
                                                                                  to buy from the Flower Market for specialty or niche
                                                                                  products. For example, Alice shares, “We get first
                                                                                  pick during the sweet pea season. We are the only
                                                                                  supermarket chain I know of that carries sweet peas
                                                                                  for the entire season.”

                                                                                     Alice and the company’s floral buyer create order
                                                                                  guides for the floral managers, and they, in turn,
                                                                                  order for their clientele. Deliveries go to Gelson’s
                                                                                  distribution center and then to the stores, with flowers
                                                                                  arriving nearly every day.

                                                                                     BEST-SELLER Gelson’s potted orchid program is
                                                                                  “the crown jewel of our department,” Alice shares.
                                                                                  The vendor guarantees double-spike Phalaenopsis
                                                                                  plants, and the department orders more than 100
                                                                                  cases a week. Gelson’s florists upgrade them in
                                                                                  unique pottery, and customers buy them in bulk to
                                                                                  complement their stylish homes, Alice reveals.

                                                                                     ARRANGEMENTS The orchid upgrades are consid-
                                                                                  ered part of the department’s arrangement category.
                                                                                  In cut flowers, designers have the freedom to create
                                                                                  unique arrangements that appeal to their clientele.
                                                                                  During holidays, the corporate floral team creates
                                                                                  recipes for seasonal items for each store to carry.

                                                                                     BOUQUETS Gelson’s customers prize flower com-
                                                                                  binations in white and green hues, and the floral
                                                                                  operation recently introduced a new bouquet style
                                                                                  featuring those colors. Called “The Classic,” it is
                                                                                  wrapped in a brown kraft sleeve and already is the
                                                                                  department’s top-selling bouquet.

                                                                                     BUNCHES The company has a thriving consumer
                                                                                  bunch program. Sunflowers sell best, and other fa-
                                                                                  vorites include tulips, Oriental lilies in white and pink,
                                                                                  white roses, Viburnum and Hydrangeas.

                                                                                     PLANTS Potted Hydrangeas are a top seller. Cus-
                                                                                  tomers also enjoy choosing from locally grown,
                                                                                  handmade succulent terrariums that are designed
                                                                                  exclusively for Gelson’s. Filled with Tillandsias and
                                                                                  succulents, they come in different shapes and sizes,
                                                                                  and “one of our customers’ favorites is shaped like a
                                                                                  fish,” Alice reports.

                                                                                     DIY WEDDING FLOWERS More and more brides are
                                                                                  turning to Gelson’s to supply flowers for their do-it-
                                                                                  yourself weddings, Alice shares. The brides bring in
                                                                                  photos of the flowers they want, and Gelson’s takes
                                                                                  care of the ordering. sf

                                                                                  Reach Editor in Chief Cynthia L. McGowan at
                                                                         or (800) 355-8086.
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