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Supermarket floral retailers make big plans for Mother’s Day

Supermarket floral execs are making big plans for Mother’s Day May 12. At Price Chopper in the Northeast, Jon Strom expects sales to grow aggressively at its Central Market Florist departments. “Some of the growth will come from cut-flower sales, including a Magnificent Mom 18-stem rose bouquet,” he told The Produce News in an interview. Mr. Strom is vice president for new business development at Price Chopper.

“We continue to hold our Build a Bouquet workshops for children and dads on the Saturday before Mother’s Day,” Mr. Strom noted. “And we have started a new program for our outdoor nursery, selling the HGTV Home Plant Collection this year. We believe that since it has been a cool spring this year in the Northeast, there will be a lot of interest and sales for outdoor bedding, potted and hanging plants for Mother’s Day.”

Price Chopper is an 81-year-old chain with headquarters in Schenectady, NY, for its 129 stores in six Northeastern states.

At Schnuck Markets in St. Louis, expectations are also high for floral sales on Mother’s Day. The chain has 101 stores in five Midwestern states. “We are planning for record sales this Mother’s Day,” said Michael Schrader, director of floral for the chain. “It is a cut-flower holiday, but the outdoor program will be expanded, too. Additional add-on sales with complementary items like cards and balloons will also help drive sales.”

In the Southwest, a floral executive who did not want to be named said hopes were high for the holiday. “In general, we’re pretty bullish for this Mother’s Day. We expect strong sales growth. I’m a bit concerned that Mexican Mother’s Day may be a bit softer than it was last year because it falls on a Friday. We’ll be focused on fresh custom vase arrangements as usual. Helium supplies continue to be a big concern for Mother’s Day and graduation as well.”

A floral supplier in Boston also weighed in with a positive update. Nick Fronduto, chief operating officer of Jacobson Floral Supply Inc., said orders came in early and showed strong trends. “From a hardgoods wholesaler’s perspective,” he said in an email message, “the bulk of our business occurs in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day as florists and supermarkets look to both capitalize on early sales and stock up on their non-perishable hardgoods early.”

Mr. Fronduto observed that he has seen a “big movement this year toward colored glass pieces and natural moss and bark containers. Fiber clay, unique tin, cement and other eclectic styles are also very much in demand.”