Pastel parasols inspire a colorful
display that draws in customers and moves product.
When Floral Manager Kim Eisler at the Logli Supermarket in Loves
Park, Ill., bought all the parasols a store had at a
going-out-of-business sale, she had no idea what she was going
to do with them. But last year, when she started planning a
spring display, they came to mind.
With the parasols as her inspiration, she created her “Spring
Parasol” display, which she entered in the 2005 “Merchandising
Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral
Retailing and Börgen Systems. Ms. Eisler’s goal was to capture
the essence of spring with April showers and colorful May
For a backdrop, Ms. Eisler taped a blue vinyl tablecloth to
the wall behind the display to create a blue sky. On the “sky,”
she glued cotton balls to form clouds. She hung the parasols
from the ceiling with fishing line and used a beam that runs
above the area to position the parasols at different angles so
they would catch customers’ eyes as they passed by the
A four-step merchandiser across the back of the display gave it
height and depth. Ms. Eisler extended the display outward with
decorative wooden crates from the produce department.
Ms. Eisler color-blocked a variety of plants and consumer
bunches in the display, positioning each color where it was most
effective. At the top of the display, she placed large purple
potted Hydrangeas, two of which sold shortly after Ms. Eisler
completed the display.
Beneath them, she positioned a large wicker basket of purple
Campanulas. The basket’s fullness created a focal point at the
center of the display. Under the Campanulas, pink and white
callas added a touch of color as well as a feeling of lush
She wove yellow floral products throughout the display. Ms.
Eisler positioned potted daffodils center right and a grouping
of potted yellow tulips above them. Below the daffodils and
across the front, she placed yellow rose bunches. She filled the
left side of the display with potted yellow mums. “I created a
circle to draw the eye to the center, lifting the parasols and
creating a feeling of flying,” Ms. Eisler says.
On the outside edges of the display, Ms. Eisler used hues of red
to provide stability. Red potted azaleas lined the right side,
while tulips and ‘Martha Washington’ geraniums framed the left.
Ms. Eisler used an assortment of green plants throughout the
display to give it a fresh, full look.
After carefully positioning each fresh product selection in
her spring display, Ms. Eisler did not want the signage to
distract from her efforts. However, she did want it to be easy
to read, concise and effective.
Ms. Eisler created price and product signage with a dark
background that helped it blend into the display. White text
popped off the black. About 6 feet from the display, she placed
a larger sign that read “Spring Parasol Sale” and listed all the
plants in the display.
Ms. Eisler’s eye for detail paid off. The display raised the
spirits of shoppers as they anticipated spring and increased
sales by about 20 percent. The display was almost sold out in 10
You can reach Merchandising Merit writer Monica Humbard at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 355-8086.
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