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Store Profile

Days Market: Capturing emotions

Floral staff at this Utah grocer have a knack for conveying families’ sentiments in their sympathy arrangements.

by Amy Bauer

Since 1998, the Heber City, Utah, Days Market has served residents of Wasatch County with a full-service floral department. And over time, the department has
grown to become many residents’ florist of choice for occasions from parties and dances to weddings and funerals.
Floral Manager Ann Mair prides herself and her floral staff on giving families their undivided attention and using their creativity to arrange outstanding
funeral tributes. She and her five employees often have weeks where they are working on as many as four funerals, and Ms. Mair reports that sympathy flowers
are her department’s biggest sellers.
Store Director Steven Day, who owns Days Markets, Inc. along with his three brothers, says Ms. Mair has a natural talent for conveying sentiments through
flowers. “She captures what you want, just by knowing your personality; it’s amazing,” he says.
days markets, inc.
FOUNDER Gerald Day
OWNERS Gerald Day’s four sons: Alan Day, Byron Day, Carl Day and Steven Day
STORES Two: in Heber City, Utah (43,000 square feet), and in Provo, Utah (18,000 square feet)
COMPANY SALES $25 million, estimated for 2006, from the 2007 Chain Store Guide
FLORAL SERVICES The Heber City store has a full-service floral department, including funerals, weddings, events and delivery. The Provo store’s produce
department sells a limited assortment of cut flowers and plant baskets.
HEBER CITY FLORAL'S CONTRIBUTION TO STORE SALES 2.1 percent (pharmacy sales excluded)
HEBER CITY FLORAL EMPLOYEES Two full-time and four part-time
TOP FLORAL HOLIDAYS Valentine’s Day and Memorial Day


family heritage
Days Markets, Inc. is a family-owned company based in Heber City that was founded in 1972 by the Day brothers’ father, Gerald. Its main store is in Heber
City and a smaller, neighborhood Days Market is in Provo. The company is a member of cooperatively owned wholesale distributor Associated Food Stores (AFS),
of Salt Lake City. The Heber City store was established in 1972, but in 1998 it was completely updated with a new building in a new location. The focus was
on freshness; the store incorporates a farmers market theme throughout.
Heber City is a booming area about 35 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. The 2000 Census recorded 7,291 residents, and by 2005, the city had grown 25
percent, to 9,147.
Recently, the Heber City store underwent interior renovations to further advance its fresh focus and cater to the growing population while maintaining the
farmers market theme. In the produce section, 250 shelving feet of cooler space was added to allow more room for organic offerings. A six-foot case was
installed to hold specialty juices, such as Pom, Odwalla and Bolthouse.
Shoppers are finding a wider selection of products throughout the store. A new multitiered island displays more than 100 varieties of cheese in the deli. The
meat department has new fresh meat and fish selections as well as more frozen fish. And an “international aisle” was created, with product offerings from
dozens of countries.

a new look
The floral department also received a makeover, increasing its square footage about 20 percent to more than 300 square feet, Mr. Day describes. Configured in
an L-shape that extends from a small strip near the front of the store down one aisle to the main floral counter, the department’s colorful offerings catch
shoppers’ eyes immediately as they enter the store. With the renovations, the department’s aisle space expanded to allow product display on either side.
New black shelving was installed, which coordinates with the existing black three-shelf reach-in floral cooler. “It seems like the black has really made the
florals just stand right out,” Ms. Mair says. “When I put the plants on the shelves, the color just pops.”
The floral work station grew from a 3-foot-wide surface extending 20 feet to an 8-foot-wide surface. A new sign above the floral counter greets guests, and
this fixture also allows hanging containers to be displayed, a feature Ms. Mair says lets customers shop more easily from the department’s wide selection of
green and blooming plants.
Another change welcomed by Ms. Mair was the addition of a dedicated floral consultation area. A table and chairs have been arranged in a more secluded spot
near the department to allow Ms. Mair and her staff to work in private with sympathy and wedding customers. Ms. Mair shares that in the past, a small table
in the nearby deli was used for the consultations.

keys to sympathy success
PERSONAL ATTENTION Days Market has a private consultation area. And two staff members are on duty at all times so families can have the full attention of a
single floral employee.
PERSONALIZED DESIGNS Families are encouraged to bring in mementos of their loved ones, and staff members ask about favorite flowers, colors, hobbies and
other interests to ensure arrangements capture each person’s personality.
AVAILABILITY Floral Manager Ann Mair is available to funeral directors and families 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via her cell phone, and she never
turns down a last-minute request.
EXTRA SERVICE Deliveries to the funeral home or service site are free, and the floral department offers families six complimentary boutonnieres. Brian
Sisson, manager of Olpin-Hoopes Mortuary in Heber City, says Days Market also has helped his staff by returning with the store’s delivery van to transport
arrangements between the service and gravesite for large funerals.


the utmost in service
Successful consultations are the first step to satisfied sympathy customers, and Ms. Mair says she makes sure families get undivided attention. With just two
full-time employees, including herself, and four part-time workers, Ms. Mair makes sure two people are working in the department at all times. Floral is
fully staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. When sympathy or wedding consultations take place, one staff member works with the family while
the other attends to other customers and the floral counter.
Ms. Mair trains each employee to work with sympathy customers. She has developed an information sheet that discusses everything from the grieving process to
sympathy card etiquette. She also ensures that each employee first watches and listens as she works with families, then she sits in as the staff member
conducts a first consultation.
The store keeps two sympathy flower guides from The John Henry Company available, and Ms. Mair is creating a book of Days Market’s custom sympathy work. “The
best compliment they can give Days Market, and we have a lot of people make this comment,” Ms. Mair relates, “is ‘Ann, I know your work, just do what you
want, do your thing.’ I’m honored that they would trust me.”
Days Market often incorporates into its casket and easel sprays mementos that reflect the person’s personality and interests, from a lasso for an avid roper
to small stuffed animals for young people. “I always tell the family, if there’s something special, please bring it in,” Ms. Mair describes.
She encourages staff members to employ their creativity. “I think a lot of it is just inside of you and how much you love that job or not,” she describes.
“If you don’t love that job and what you do, you’re not going to be creative at all. It just takes that inside of you.”

sympathy logistics
The average Days Market funeral sale ranges from $300 to $500. Prices for casket sprays range from $200 to $500. At the $400 level, Ms. Mair says, the sprays
usually are entirely composed of roses, incorporating 75 to 100 stems. Standing easel sprays start at $100, and fan sprays range from $30 to $150. In
addition, many friends or other relatives will order sympathy tributes. Ms. Mair says the store’s ready-made green and blooming planters are popular options,
and those range in price from $25 to $120. Delivery of sympathy pieces is always free, and Days Market offers families six complimentary boutonnieres for
Days Market works with two floral wholesalers, in Salt Lake City and Provo, to order most fresh flowers, including those for funeral work. Floral employees
complete their own deliveries—within a 20-mile radius—and the store has a van branded with the Days Market Floral information for its funeral and twice-daily
deliveries. Days Market even delivers on Sundays for services that day. Floral employees who work Saturday are responsible for returning Sunday to deliver
the flowers fresh.
Staff members take extra flowers and wire when delivering sympathy orders to ensure the designs look their best for the families. Any snapped or drooping
stems then can be wired or replaced. A Days Market Floral sticker is placed on each sympathy card envelope so that it is out of the way for funeral directors
but plainly visible to family and friends at the services.
Ms. Mair says the directors at the local funeral home, Olpin-Hoopes Mortuary, have her cell phone number, as well as those of several of her staff members,
and are able to reach her day or night. “They know, no matter what they ask for, we’ll always do,” she says. “I’ve never turned them down, ever.”

year-round sellers
While sympathy work keeps the staff busy, everyday sales are a department mainstay. Ms. Mair keeps the floral cooler stocked with fresh flower arrangements
and by-the-stem cut flowers. Buckets of mixed-flower bouquets from AFS, which staff members often upgrade with specialty picks and sell for $5 to $16, are
available to grab and go just outside the cooler.
Green and blooming plants are strong sellers, and Ms. Mair ensures the department keeps a mix of 4-, 6- and 8-inch pots in stock from AFS. These are priced
from $4.50 to $9.99. She says miniature roses and Cyclamens are best-sellers among the blooming plants, and customers also like Kalanchoes, callas and
The ready-made green and blooming planters are ordered from Pacific Plant Growers, of Lehi, Utah, and Ms. Mair says she orders up to $1,500 in planters every
two weeks. At times, her volume requires weekly orders. “They told us that we are the only store that orders that many plants that often,” Ms. Mair relates.
In addition to sympathy sales, the planters often are suggested by staff members for hospital and office settings and gift giving.
The floral department contributed a healthy 2.1 percent of store sales (not including the pharmacy) in 2006, Mr. Day reports. Days Market’s owners have shown
their commitment to floral in a number of ways, such as investing about four years ago in the dedicated delivery van and, in recent years, renting a
refrigerated 18-wheel truck from AFS at major holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. The truck functions as an oversized cooler and
provides the needed space for the large volume of holiday floral product the store sells.
Ms. Mair credits the caring residents of Heber City and Wasatch County for her sales success, particularly when it comes to sympathy flower sales. “It means
a lot to them to remember their loved ones,” she says. “It’s always been something very important in Heber, just like Memorial Day.” For Days Market’s floral
department, that holiday is second only to Valentine’s Day. “It’s the tradition,” Ms. Mair continues. “And it goes from generation to generation.”

Photos courtesy of Steven Day, Days Market

You may reach Amy Bauer at or by phone at (800) 355-8086.

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