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Merchandising Merit


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Floral department gobbles up Thanksgiving sales with oversized turkey stuffed with mums.

Beautiful flowers inspire display ideas. Or sometimes it’s a giftware item, a balloon or a floral wrap. But occasionally a merchandiser triggers an idea. When Audrey Eastman, floral manager at Schnucks, store No. 123, in St. Charles, Mo., received her new merchandising tables, an oversized turkey for her Thanksgiving display came to mind.

Ms. Eastman’s new glass-top, gray metal tables came in three heights and rectangle and square shapes. To create her turkey, she used the rectangular tables in different heights. She placed the two tallest side by side, with the long sides together. On each side, she placed the other two sizes of rectangular tables in descending heights.

To pull off Ms. Eastman’s giant turkey display, she needed a cardboard turkey head. She approached the grocery department, which supplied her with an extra Pepperidge Farm cardboard turkey from a stuffing display. She placed the back of it between the tallest tables, so that only the head extended out.

Ms. Eastman filled the tables with 4-inch and 6-inch orange, yellow and red potted mums to create the body and tail of the turkey. She placed additional mums around the legs of the tables.

Over the “turkey,” Ms. Eastman floated a turkey AirWalker® balloon and several fall leaf balloons. Near the head of the turkey, on one of the tables, she also merchandised colored Mason jars for tea-light candles and pilgrim figurines. Next to the display, she placed pumpkin picks for inserting into the potted mums.
Ms. Eastman put up the display—her first since becoming the floral manager—in mid-October, and it remained through Thanksgiving. She says a steady flow of customers visited the display, which she entered in the 2005 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems. She replaced “feathers” every day, using the plants around the bottom. When new mums arrived twice a week, the bottom of the display was nearly empty.
Not only did the mums sell exceptionally well from the display, but Ms. Eastman says it also drew attention to the Thanksgiving giftware, which sold well, too.

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

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