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Merchandising Merit
            
      
hearing the call

Bubbling fountain pulls shoppers into blooming plant display.
 

When you plan floral displays, you probably focus on capturing the eyes of your customers. However, you might find it beneficial to appeal to their ears as well. Susan Jordan, floral manager at Schnucks in University City, a suburb of St. Louis, Mo., discovered this when she designed her “April Showers Bring May Flowers” display.
Ms. Jordan placed a white angel fountain at the center of her colorful blooming plant display. Her corporate office allowed her to run water through it as long as it was kept clean and didn’t get water on the floor. She checked it once a day and turned it off at night.
Ms. Jordan says the fountain captured attention because shoppers wanted to know where the sound of running water was coming from. Once they found the source, she says, the colorful floral products caught their eyes and took over. She entered the display in the 2004 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems.

RAIN THEME
The sound of running water went perfectly with the display’s rain theme, which Ms. Jordan emphasized with brightly colored umbrellas. She hung two from the ceiling with fishing line and color-coordinated two others with folding chairs she borrowed from the general merchandise department of the store.

GARDEN EMPHASIS
Ms. Jordan added more bright color with coordinating flower balloons, a bumble bee balloon, water cans and garden kneeling pads. These items also emphasized the garden aspect of the display. She dropped a plant into one of the watering cans as a gift idea and stuck butterfly picks into some of the potted blooming plants. Garden tools and statuary also helped develop the gardening theme.

COLOR BLOCKING
All the product was placed on a tiered merchandiser that Ms. Jordan constructed using gray blocks. The display included a variety of both indoor and outdoor plants. She noticed that customers purchased more outdoor products than usual because they were mixed in with the indoor items.
Ms. Jordan color-blocked the product in yellow, pink and white sections. The fresh product included yellow chrysanthemums and pansies, pink azaleas and Hydrangeas, and white chrysanthemums. The display was backed with a row of large dark green palms, and a row of smaller palms lined the front.

ADDED BONUS
Ms. Jordan had an unexpected bonus from the display. Some customers in search of gifts requested that she put together garden-themed gift baskets from products in the display and combine dish gardens with garden gloves and tools.
Ms. Jordan’s display, located at the entrance to the supermarket, went up as soon as the products arrived and stayed up until it was no longer full, which she says wasn’t very long.
 

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

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