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Merchandising Merit
A scary

Supermarket boosts sales with a startling display that merges Halloween, homecoming and roses.

Customers usually know what to expect when they enter a supermarket. Therefore, unanticipated displays prove effective. Schnucks in Ballwin, Mo., combined two traditionally separate events—Halloween and homecoming—and a simple rose promotion to create one display the floral department called “Rose Spooktacular.” The display increased sales while entertaining shoppers of all ages.

At the center of the display, which was an entrant in the 2005 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems, a skeleton couple hung from the ceiling. They were dressed as a bride and groom, complete with wedding rings. A spider web backdrop hung behind them.

The female, nicknamed Orvella by the staff, held a silk flower nosegay and wore a wedding veil, long black fingernails, high heels and makeup. The male, fondly referred to as Claudette, wore a boutonniere, hat and bow tie and had a gold tooth. The children who visited the store were especially fond of the couple.

The staff dressed the skeleton couple in formalwear to encourage customers to think about homecoming, which was coming up at the local high school. Signage reminded them to place their flower orders for the event.

To further incorporate Halloween, Floral Manager Cindy McCullough merchandised a variety of Halloween-themed balloons in the display and added a few miniature pumpkins along with pumpkin decorations.

Below the skeleton couple, Ms. McCullough color blocked an autumn palette of dozen-rose bunches. She priced them at $9.99 per bunch instead of the regular $14.99.
Not only did the display increase rose sales for the department during the few weeks it was up, but the homecoming orders also surpassed the previous year’s.

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

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