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Merchandising Merit

      
      
Party in paradise
 

Floral manager’s creativity takes her customers to a tropical island retreat.


Every year, Lisa Tapp, the award-winning floral manager at Albertsons No. 4176 in Weatherford, Texas, proves that putting together displays that draw in shoppers is more about creativity and imagination than a big prop budget. She has created everything from castles to swans to tiki huts with cardboard boxes.

Ms. Tapp, who has won Honor Awards for her Valentine’s displays two years in a row in the “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems, threw a “Tropical Island Party” for her floral customers last year. Her island paradise display included monkeys, fish, sea horses, tropical plants and flowers, palm trees, coconuts, pineapples, a tiki hut, parrots and swimming children.

For two weeks, word spread around the small town of Weatherford (population 22,500) that Ms. Tapp was working on one of her trademark displays. Customers came in to check out her latest creation. Not only did Ms. Tapp sell out of several products but some customers wanted to buy her tiki hut for their own parties.

TROPICAL PROPS
Ms. Tapp used the brown paper her flowers were shipped in to top her cardboard tiki hut. She shredded it to create a thatch look. On the side of the hut, she constructed a palm tree with more boxes and brown paper. She used green construction paper for the palms. From inside the hut, a plush monkey invited customers into the department.

PRODUCTS
A variety of novelty-shaped foil balloons helped pull off the tropical theme in addition to increasing sales, and tropical foliage plants gave the display a full and lush appearance. In a three-for-$10 bouquet section, Ms. Tapp showcased tropical cut flowers, such as birds-of-paradise, as well as tropical flower arrangements of Proteas, Anthuriums and birds-of-paradise, which she accented with tiny ukuleles and sliced limes.

Ms. Tapp did such a great job of pulling off the promotion’s tropical theme that she was able to sneak some of her everyday products into the display as well. In her three-for-$10 section, she featured bouquets of brightly dyed daisy mums. Potted yellow, white and purple mums also added blasts of bright color among the tropical foliage plants.

STOREWIDE PARTICIPATION
Ms. Tapp didn’t stop her tropical island party at the perimeter of her department; she got other departments involved as well. Some contributed Hawaiian Punch, coconuts and pineapples, and staff throughout the store dressed in Hawaiian shirts, leis and straw hats. The floral department made over several departments by wrapping their counters with shredded brown paper so they looked like tiki huts.

Ms. Tapp extended her tropical display to an open area near the service deli. There, under a large beach umbrella, she had one of her sales associates dressed in Hawaiian attire and a lei selling dozen rose bouquets, which were on sale at the time.

You can reach Merchandising Merit writer Monica Humbard at mhumbard@superfloralretailing.com or (800) 355-8086.


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