a home run
Baseball-themed display increases sales and showcases
When Donna Bennett, floral manager of the Hy-Vee Overland Park
No. 1 in Overland Park, Kan., created a baseball-themed display
for spring, she saw increased sales, but an added bonus was that
her designers gained valuable exposure among customers.
Ms. Bennett, whose 1950s drive-in display earned her the Grand
Award honor in the 2005 “Merchandising Award of Excellence”
contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems,
says her baseball theme also would work well for Father’s Day
with gift items targeted toward men.
The baseball display received first place in a companywide
spring contest for all Hy-Vee stores. Ms. Bennett’s theme was
“Relive the Memories with the Kansas City Royals.”
MAKING THE DISPLAY
The focal point of the display was a life-size topiary
baseball player the staff named “Manne Quinn.” To create the
Royals baseball player, Ms. Bennett hot-glued onto a mannequin
3,888 square inches of floral foam that she had cut into small
pieces. Applying and sculpting the foam took about two hours a
night for almost two weeks.
When the mannequin was completely covered with floral foam, an
associate hosed it down, and Ms. Bennett placed flowers into the
foam in one day, with the help of an assistant in the afternoon.
She covered the arms and legs in sheet moss and created the
uniform using 1,703 blue and white carnations. The display had
to look fresh for 12 days, so the staff spritzed the mannequin
with water each day.
Behind the mannequin, Ms. Bennett placed a stadium mural she
found in the wallpaper department of a hardware store. The floor
was covered with artificial turf. She constructed a protective
wall around the display using Pepsi cases. Rose bushes, foliage
plants and mixed bouquets completed the display.
To further carry out the Royals theme, floral turned its
department into a concession stand. A “Concession” banner
created by the store’s in-house artist, Vicky Olson, hung over
the checkout counter. It featured Slugger, the Royals’ mascot,
and listed floral “ice-cream” goodies including banana splits,
sundaes and ice cream cones made with scoops of colored floral
foam and white miniature carnations.
All the departments helped develop the Royals theme in their own
areas. Ms. Olson created pennants honoring former Royals
players, which staff placed throughout the store.
REAPING THE REWARDS
While the display didn’t have a huge effect on the floral
department’s bottom line, it did increase the sales of bouquets
and plants because it gave them top billing at the front of the
store for 12 days. But more important, Ms. Bennett says, the
designers had an opportunity to show off their creativity and
You can reach Merchandising Merit writer Monica Humbard at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 355-8086.
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