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Merchandising Merit
stepping out

For Motherís Day, this Utah floral department makes itself at home at the front of the store.

Two times every year, the floral department in the back of the Maceyís in West Jordan, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, gets to show off its product at the front of the store. One of those times is Motherís Day. In 2003, then Floral Manager Roxine Hodson developed a massive Motherís Day display with the theme ďA Mother Makes a House a Home.Ē Her goals were for it to feel homey and to make it accessible to shoppers from all sides.
The display helped the floral department increase sales for the holiday over the past year, bringing in around $12,000 the week before Motherís Day. Ms. Hodson entered the display in the 2004 ďMerchandising Award of ExcellenceĒ contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Borgen Systems.

PROPS Now floral merchandiser for Associated Food Stores and the floral sales manager for the Associated Retail Stores (made up of Maceyís, Danís, Dickís and Linís stores), Ms. Hodson started her Motherís Day display with a few key props from her homeóa twin bed frame, storage bench, hutch and rug. In place of the bedís mattress, she corralled buckets of pastel stem-dyed daisy bouquets to create a colorful floral quilt. Approximately 370 of the bouquets were sold that week.
She took the lid/seat off the bench and filled the storage space with 6-inch potted Gerberas. The hutch served as another merchandiser for gift baskets and 4-inch blooming plants. She also included a piece of picket fence, to which a handyman attached braces, so it would stand by itself. Behind the fence, Ms. Hodson positioned black cubes for merchandising potted plants. Beside it she placed buckets of bouquets in metal stands.
Ms. Hodson used more black cubes on the backsides of some of the furniture, providing more merchandising space. She hid the unattractive back of the hutch with black fabric and shelving, which added additional merchandising area.

FRESH PRODUCT In addition to potted Gerberas, Ms. Hodson included other potted blooming plants such as miniature roses, mums, Cyclamens and callas. Later in the week, she added other cut flower bouquets.
On Friday and Saturday before Motherís Day, Ms. Hodson incorporated dozen-rose bouquets. On Saturday, she added a mobile design cart, where staff put together bud vases and mixed floral vases for customers.

SIGNAGE Ms. Hodson created a poster for the entrance to the display that announced the theme, ďA Mother Makes a House a Home.Ē Price signage was provided by corporate.
Because the floral department is in the back of the store, on Motherís Day Ms. Hodson also added signage to the display up front that encouraged shoppers to visit the floral department. Fliers and public-address announcements in the store that week also encouraged visits to the department.

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

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