maximizing foil balloon sales
Merchandising strategies to get the most from these profitable
all know that balloons are an easy, low-cost way to increase
add-on sales or to add value to existing products in floral
departments. Still, we often hear from retailers who are not
maximizing their efforts and are asking, “What can my store do
to improve balloon sales?”
Here are a few suggestions I’ve accumulated over the last
inflate your balloons
This sounds obvious, but we
see so many people stock
packaged balloons on a rack without inflating them. Although
foil balloons are offered in packages for storage purposes,
they are meant to be displayed fully
inflated. Inflated balloons sell faster because they are an
buy. By displaying balloons inflated, with curling ribbon and
weights, you take time out of the equation for your customers.
It’s much easier for customers to grab inflated balloons to go
than it is to find someone to inflate one and wait while that’s
being done. Make buying balloons as simple as possible for your
customers; it’s a guaranteed way to increase sales.
Another tip is to add several latex balloons to a single foil
balloon, creating an easy and inexpensive upgrade. By adding
several Hi-Float®-treated latex balloons to a foil balloon, you
significantly increase the perceived value of the product at a
minimal cost and create a product that can be sold at a greater
plan your display locations
How and where you merchandise your balloons is extremely
important. Obviously the best place to display inflated balloons
is in high-traffic areas. Have you pinpointed where those areas
are in your store? Begin within your department. Most floral
departments have tiered merchandisers for potted plants. Utilize
the space at the top of these to present foil balloons that tie
into the theme of the display, the season or both. Other ideal
places include the checkout registers, the bakery, the seasonal
aisle and the card aisle. Be sure to display your best-selling
balloons in all these places.
• Display balloons at the checkout registers that are always
open. If you’re not certain which ones these are, ask your store
• Cross-merchandise with your bakery the hot licensed balloons
that match the licensed cakes they design. The two really go
hand in hand, and the combo is a no-brainer for customers.
• The seasonal aisle in your store is ever-changing, which
presents a terrific opportunity to place the newest seasonal
balloon designs. Create clusters of balloons, and attach them
every 4 feet to 6 feet on either side of the aisle. Display
18-inch foil balloons and jumbo shape balloons to create a
festive atmosphere. Be sure to clearly price these balloons so
customers will know these balloons are for sale.
• The card aisle is one of the best places to display foil
balloons. Customers shopping for cards will have easy access to
coordinating foil balloons or balloon clusters. Match the
sentiments on the balloons with the sentiments on the cards you
display the balloons above.
• Look for displays in your store that contain products for
specific licensed characters. Accent this display with matching
maintain your displays
Wherever you decide to display your foil balloons, keep the
following things in mind.
• Keep all foil balloons fully inflated. No one wants to buy a
“mushy” balloon. Over time, a foil balloon will lose helium and
need to be reinflated. This can be done multiple times.
• Stagger balloons at varying heights when displaying them in
clusters. This helps reduce tangling and draws more attention to
them. Display balloons between 4 feet and 6 feet from the floor.
This “impact zone” naturally attracts customers’ attention.
• Price foil balloons clearly so consumers can see the costs.
Many times customers don’t buy balloons because they don’t know
they are for sale. This contributes heavily to lost sales. You
also can use “Buy Me Now” stickers to communicate the price to
focus on what sells in your area
The balloons that should be inflated and displayed will vary
from location to location depending on trends and customer
demographics. Generally, generic Happy Birthday, licensed
character and Get Well will be your best-sellers, in that order.
You should always keep these inflated and displayed, ready for
purchase at any time.
Most importantly, have fun! You are in the business of parties,
life’s monumental milestones and making people happy. Combine
your creativity and enthusiasm along with some of the tips here
to increase sales and profits in 2009.
Maxine Burton is president and chief operating officer of
burton + BURTON. Formed in 1982, the family-owned and operated
business is one of the largest distributors of balloons and
coordinating gift products in the world. Reach her at (706)
Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2009
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.