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New Jersey store eggs on Easter purchases by putting all its bunches in one basket.

Sometimes the best way to increase sales for a holiday is right under your nose. You don’t always have to spotlight a new product or design a display that requires hours and hours of labor to construct. The floral staff at Kings Supermarket in Berkeley Heights, N.J., had done the latter before, but for Easter 2005, it took a simpler approach—and it paid off.

The store’s floral manager, Bonnie Garafano, entered its creative Easter basket display in the 2005 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems.

At the store’s entrance, next to the floral department, the Kings’ floral staff assembled a giant Easter basket. They used wooden barrels found throughout the store and milk crates from the dairy department to form the shape of the basket. On top, they laid a green tablecloth to hide the barrels and crates. Next, the staff wrapped the “basket” with corrugated paper, which it then covered with Easter weave-patterned cloth.

For the basket handle, they used a long strip of wood wrapped in ribbon. They bent it over the Easter basket and inserted the ends into the slits of the milk crates.

At the center of the basket, the floral department placed a large plush bunny holding a smaller bunny. Then, the staff surrounded the rabbit duo with buckets of Easter consumer bunches, which were part of the department’s regular three-for-$12 program. They used green “grass” to fill in around the buckets.

To complete the display, the staff attached a colorful bow to the basket handle and floated butterfly balloons overhead. They also incorporated some potted plants and Easter figurines from the grocery department.

After a couple of hours of work, the store’s bookkeeper, Linda Berberich, who helped with the construction, says the floral department had a simple, yet eye-catching, display that customers loved. During the week the display was up, the three-for-$12 bunches jumped from the third-best seller in 2004 to the second best in 2005, and Easter sales surpassed the previous year.

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

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