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2008 Honor Award Winners

Recipients heat up sales with displays centered on warm colors and cross-merchandised product selection.

by Monica Humbard

    In our August issue, we showcased the display that won Lisa Tapp, floral manager of Albertsons No. 4176 in Weatherford, Texas, the Grand Award in the 2008 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems. The contest also recognized four supermarkets for outstanding displays in Honor Award categories—Best Color Harmony, Best Cross-Merchandising, Best Signage and Best Theme Development. This month we are featuring the Color Harmony and Cross-Merchandising winners. In our October issue, we will highlight the winners for Best Signage and Best Theme.

Orange color theme gives chilly shoppers a hint of warm months to come
    Kara Hagge, floral manager for Hy-Vee Urbandale in Urbandale, Iowa, received the 2008 Honor Award for Best Color Harmony for a display centered on potted ‘Orange Star’ Ornithogalums, which were a weekly advertised special last spring. Ms. Hagge says the display sold so well that she had to order an extra case of the featured plant. She credits the display’s success to the fact she “covered all her bases” with an eye-catching color scheme, a variety of products and effective signage. She even appealed to shoppers’ sense of smell by placing citrus-scented air fresheners into the display.
COLOR SCHEME Ms. Hagge’s display went up in the spring, after a cold winter was drawing to a close, so she knew shoppers were anxious for signs of summer. When planning her ‘Orange Star’ display about a month out, she decided on an attention-grabbing, bright orange, monochromatic color scheme.
    The perfect items to carry out the color scheme were fresh oranges, which she sliced and dropped into the bottoms of vased floral arrangements. She also suggested home décor ideas such as tall glass cylinders filled with oranges.
     Ms. Hagge incorporated additional color-coordinating fresh florals, including bouquets in different hues of orange and foliage plants in yellow-and-green-striped containers accented with orange flowers. She gave the display height and movement with coordinating foil balloons that looked like oranges.
CROSS-MERCHANDISING Ms. Hagge expanded her product selection by incorporating other items from throughout her store. On stair-stepped tables with complementary but contrasting gray tops, she merchandised orange sliced candy, orange citrus-scented jar candles and citrus-scented fragrance kits. She also included candle carvers, which are used to carve a hole into fruit for inserting tea light candles. She accompanied the carvers with examples using real oranges.
SIGNAGE Price and description signage for the display was simple but effective. Ms. Hagge printed the display’s signage on orange paper using her computer and added clip-art oranges. She also placed care and handling information next to the plants for customers to take home.

Floral teams with grocery department for “hot”-selling cactus display
    Sometimes all it takes is one balloon and a jaunt through your store to produce an award-winning display. It was that simple for Patty Malloy, floral manager/buyer for Gordy’s County Market in Eau Claire, Wis., and recipient of the 2008 Honor Award for Best Cross-Merchandising.
THEME DEVELOPMENT Every year in June, Ms. Malloy focuses on cacti, usually for Father’s Day. But this year she delayed the display until later in the month. She tied the theme into the extreme heat of the summer and the fact that “some like it hot,” whether you’re talking about the weather, cacti or salsa preferences.
BALLOON INSPIRATION Besides the extreme heat, Ms. Malloy’s initial inspiration for the cactus display was a balloon featuring a cactus in a sombrero, which she combined with other cacti and chili pepper and sombrero balloons. The balloons allowed her to build the display up on a hexagon-shaped floral merchandiser. Customers could spot it from a distance, and it didn’t take up much room. Plus, Ms. Malloy reports, the balloons sold well, too.
CROSS-MERCHANDISING When Ms. Malloy started walking through her store to find items that would fit into the display’s Mexican theme and with packaging that would coordinate with the balloons’ color scheme, she discovered a variety of Doritos® tortilla chips flavors that worked perfectly. She also added salsas, hot sauces and taco shells with coordinating packaging. Ms. Malloy says it is fun working in a supermarket because you always have a large selection of items to tie into floral displays.
FRESH PRODUCTS Along with cactus gardens and individual cactus varieties, Ms. Malloy merchandised succulents, including hen-and-chicks (Echeveria), jade and Aloe plants, in the display. All were in clay or plastic terra-cotta-colored pots.
SIGNAGE Ms. Malloy used her computer to produce “Take home a cactus for your casa” and “Some like it hot” signs. For price signage, she cut cactus shapes out of green paper and placed Post-it® Note yellow flowers on them. She wrote the prices on the yellow flowers and inserted the cactus signage into the plants. She also handmade red chili pepper signs, which she placed around the display.
     Ms. Malloy shares that her floral products sold well from the small but dynamic display, as did the chips and salsa. “The display provided big impact in a small space,” she says.

Reach Contributing Editor Monica Humbard at (800) 355-8086.

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2008
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.