Roche Bros. designers wow NEPC Expo attendees with their
When a group of talented Roche Bros. floral designers came
together to design a booth for the New England Produce Council’s
(NEPC) Produce and Floral Expo in Boston, the result was a
visual delight of colorful, creative merchandising.
The eight Roche Bros. floral designers, led by Debbie Loche,
floral buyer/merchandiser, created a booth with a tropical
island flair in homage to the April 6 Expo’s “Survivor” theme.
The booth, whose centerpiece was a “thatched”-roof hut, was
overflowing with colorful flowers and plants and drew crowds of
admirers throughout the day.
The booth took about five hours to build, including the time
spent on the signage, says Ms. Loche. She considers it time well
spent. When designers get together, “they get very creative, and
they see how one’s doing an arrangement, and they take that back
to the stores with them,” she says.
The display had the elements necessary for a great merchandising
The display had a wide variety of both flowers and
plants. On one side of the booth, a table of fresh Gerberas,
orchids, birds-of-paradise, pincushions (Leucospermums) and
Anthuriums in brightly colored vases were grouped for a striking
effect. Opposite them were bromeliad plants in attractive
baskets. Foliage plants were grouped in their own area of the
display, and upscale arrangements were found throughout.
The Roche Bros. designers both found and made items to
match the tropical theme. Island masks and tiki torches were
sprinkled throughout the display. A campfire was composed of
stones, wood and an orange paper flame. The hut was made of
cardboard and duct tape, with raffia matting laid over the top.
Empty bean crates borrowed from the produce
department were covered with potato sacks and made authentic,
weathered-looking backdrops for the cut flowers and plants. The
boxes were arranged on different levels, adding depth to the
display. Arrangements were showcased on the boxes as well as on
a metallic outdoor table covered with seashells.
The Roche Bros. team covered the floor with burlap.
They put sand on the burlap for a beach effect.
Ms. Loche is a believer in the importance of signage in
merchandising, and the display reflected that. Throughout the
display, teal blue signage in the shape of tropical leaves gave
care and handling information on individual products in
easy-to-read, attractive writing. Actual foliage leaves, written
on with black marker, were used for other signage, such as
Produce associated with the tropics—bananas,
pineapples, papayas, avocados, oranges, lemons and kiwis—was
displayed in baskets.
The Roche Bros. designers incorporated the blue backdrop
that came with the booth, using it to complement the ocean
theme. The display’s bright colors drew visitors to the booth
and made them want to get a better look at the variety of
products on display.
The display appealed to viewers’ sense of humor and fun.
A plush Alf, from the old TV series and wearing a tropical
shirt, peered over a Roche Bros. banner and exhibited a leaf
sign that read “sole survivor.” A bright sun made of cardboard
peeked over the hut’s roof. A hidden sound system played the
sounds of running water and birds chirping. The designers all
wore tropical shirts and leis. They also sported wide smiles
during the daylong Expo, reflecting the pride they felt in
designing a wonderful, well-admired merchandising display.
You can reach Merchandising Merit writer Monica Humbard at
email@example.com or (800) 355-8086.
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