Page 9 - Super Floral > June 2015 Issue
P. 9

corporate’s role

                                       Strong corporate support helps ensure that the departments are
                                    able to generate that floral magic. In addition to Alice’s floral direc-
                                    tor position, the team consists of her supervisor, the senior director
                                    of produce and floral; a buyer; and a floral merchandiser who visits
                                    stores to help implement programs, check on inventory and handle
                                    other department-level issues. “I’m so blessed to have such a great
                                    team of people that make my job that much easier,” Alice expresses.

                                       The corporate support extends to the store level, with depart-
                                    ments having adequate staff and training to give customers top-
                                    notch service. Each store has a full-time manager, and, depending
                                    on volume, most have an additional full-time designer. The larger
                                    stores also have one to three clerks.

                                       The floral staff meets quarterly, and Alice also organizes training
                                    programs to keep skills and knowledge up to date, recently bring-
                                    ing in top floral industry designers René van Rems and Pieter
                                    Landman to conduct workshops. Such training is a great motivat-
                                    ing tool and creativity boost, Alice shares. “They get really excited,”
                                    she comments. “Any creative person needs to get out and see what’s
                                    new and trending.”

                                       Having such great corporate support helps elevate the staff’s
                                    work to new heights, Alice expresses. Designers are encouraged to
                                    try things and share their excitement with customers, creating an
                                    even better shopper experience. Remarks Alice, “The limits are end-
                                    less when it comes to their creativity.”

                                       savvy marketing

                                            In addition to the eye-catching in-store displays,
                                        Gelson’s uses a variety of marketing tools to promote
                                        its flowers. In the stores, large banners inform custom-
                                        ers that the departments can handle proms, weddings
                                        and events. Countertop signage reminds shoppers of
                                        Gelson’s services, and digital monitors at the checkouts
                                        always feature flowers.

                                            Gelson’s website,, has an exten-
                                        sive floral presence. At the site’s beautifully designed
                                        “Florist Corner,” visitors can find professional photos of
                                        the operation’s products, care tips, and descriptions and
                                        dates of design classes. Shoppers can order flowers at
                                        the site or through Instacart, the grocery delivery service.

                                            The department also spreads the word about its flow-
                                        ers through social media, including a Pinterest board
                                        called “Gifts of Beauty” that offers “beautiful ideas for
                                        weddings and parties, available at your favorite store.”
                                        Reminds Alice Grazziani, floral director, “If you’re not on
                                        Pinterest, you’re really not on trend.”

                                    (top left) A display of potted plants captures attention with its blue, purple and
                                    pink hues.
                                    (middle left) Professionally designed banners let customers know about
                                    Gelson’s floral services.
                                    (bottom left) Double-spike Phalaenopsis orchids are a signature item for the
                                    floral operation.

24 / june 2015
   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12