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Merchandising Merit
            
      
seizing the
             moment


Florida florist uses the break after Easter to double sales for Administrative Professionals Week.

          

As soon as Easter was over last year, Jarrod Hersh, floral specialist at Publix 678 in Coral Springs, Fla., put together an Administrative Professionals Week display unlike any he had done before. The reward for his efforts was doubling his sales for this holiday over the previous year. His display was an entry in the 2004 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems.

TEAMING UP
Wanting to capture customers’ attention, Mr. Hersh decided to create an office setting where it was unexpected, just inside the doors of the supermarket. He approached the manager of a local Office Depot about renting a desk and chair for the display. The manager liked the idea so much that he let Mr. Hersh borrow the furniture in exchange for including Office Depot catalogs in the display. Office Depot delivered the furniture and set it up. (After the holiday, the manager told Mr. Hersh he had sold some desks as a result of participating in the display.)
Mr. Hersh found an old computer and phone to place on the desk, bringing the total cost for the display’s props to zero.

SIMPLE SIGNAGE
Mr. Hersh also kept the cost of the display’s signage to a minimum. He used notebook paper and Post-It Notes on which he wrote pricing, item descriptions and messages such as “Just for You” or “For the Person Who Has Everything.”
Although overhead signage promoted the day itself, the department promoted the week throughout the rest of the store with signage and in-store announcements.

FRESH PRODUCT
In the display, Mr. Hersh merchandised bouquets with picks targeted to the holiday. In addition to potted Kalanchoes and mini mums, he offered bamboo gardens, dish gardens in large coffee mugs, bud vases and arrangements.
This past year, Mr. Hersh says, a number of nearby companies chose single large $40 to $50 arrangements of tropical flowers for the whole office to enjoy.

GIFTWARE
In addition, the floral department merchandised ready-made gift mugs that included candy and balloons. Mr. Hersh also pulled together gift baskets of office supplies such as pens and calculators. The grocery department contributed picture frames and small portfolios.
The average sale ranged from $10 to $25. The balloon/candy mug was priced at $8.99, and the potted plants ranged from $3.99 to $30. Bouquets were priced at $6.99 to $12.99.
Mr. Hersh says most of the sales occurred the night before and the morning of Administrative Professionals Day, but the display continued to sell out through Friday.

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

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