Page 8 - Super Floral > July 2015 Issue
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christmas favorites                                                                        meeting needs in floral

   Poinsettias are Gerrity’s Supermarkets’ top seller during                                  That service attitude extends to floral, where “We do
Christmas, but fresh wreaths featuring pine cones and bows are                             it all,” Anne describes. Customers know they can go to
also strong, Floral Manager Anne Konopka shares. The company                               Gerrity’s for everything from weddings to funerals.
lines the front of the stores with racks of the wreaths, which custom-
ers can buy as is or have upgraded.                                                           Anne runs the company’s overall floral operation out
                                                                                           of her store, which has a staff of three full-time and one
   The stores make sure to have a bountiful supply of poinsettias,                         part-time employees. They create all the arrangements for
displaying them in tree racks for an impactful show. Red plants are                        the six cash-and-carry stores, with one staffer on the road
the most popular, but customers also are excited about white poin-                         visiting those stores daily to ensure they are fully stocked.
settias that are painted in bright colors, such as teal, orange, yellow                    “Everything is made here by us,” Anne comments. “We
or “anything that’s out of the ordinary,” Anne describes. The floral                       want to be able to say, ‘homemade, homegrown,’ and it is.”
designers spray the poinsettias with floral paint and dust them with
glitter. “People just go crazy for them,” she reveals.                                        The stores offer full-service events, including weddings.
                                                                                           “We deliver, we set up, we do whatever the brides want,”
                                                                                           Anne shares. Consultations take place in the store’s café.

                                                                                              Proms are an important source of business, she remarks.
                                                                                           The stores employ many high school students, and “they
                                                                                           know where to come for their flowers, and they tell their
                                                                                           friends,” Anne comments.

                                                                                              Word-of-mouth publicity also has helped the depart-
                                                                                           ment build its sympathy business. Gerrity’s has gained the
                                                                                           trust of local funeral directors, who often refer families to
                                                                                           the store for their sympathy needs.

                                                                                              The designers also create items for last-minute gift-
                                                                                           givers who know they can get what they need with little
                                                                                           advance notice. “A lot of people come in first thing in
                                                                                           the morning and say, ‘I have only five minutes, what can
                                                                                           you do for me?’ and we’ll send them off with something,”
                                                                                           Anne confirms.

photos: Gerrity’s Supermarkets                                                             the flower tent

(above and middle) Gerrity’s Supermarkets’ flower tent in Scranton, Pa., is a popular         When spring arrives, customers get excited about the
destination in the spring. Customers enjoy choosing from hundreds of items for their       company’s “flower tent” in the parking lot of Larry and
lawns and gardens.                                                                         Anne’s store. The tent is actually about eight large tents
(top) Anne Konopka is the floral manager for the flagship Scranton location, and she also  joined together in a rectangle, and it boasts hundreds of
manages the overall floral operation for the company.                                      garden items. “I don’t think there’s another supermarket
                                                                                           in our area that puts out near the show we offer in the
                                                                                           spring,” comments Larry, who oversees the tent and its
                                                                                           products with Anne’s help.

                                                                                              Indeed, the eight-week promotion includes at least
                                                                                           1,000 hanging baskets, along with nearly a dozen racks of
                                                                                           patio pots, plus flats of bedding plants. Customers also can
                                                                                           find cute garden ornaments to personalize their spaces.

                                                                                              Products come from Pennsylvania growers, and only
                                                                                           the freshest, highest-quality items will do. “We don’t have
                                                                                           anything out here that’s not fresh,” Larry says. “I would
                                                                                           put our quality up there with anybody’s, and that’s what
                                                                                           people like.”

                                                                                              Customers like it so much that they can’t wait for the
                                                                                           tent’s May opening. “They’ll call in March and ask, ‘When
                                                                                           is the tent going to open; is it ready?’” Anne recalls. “It
                                                                                           has quite a following. When the tents go up, the people
                                                                                           come looking.”

22 / july 2015
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