All people may be created equal, but that’s not the case for supermarkets. According to the Food Marketing Institute, there are more than 37,000 grocery stores and supermarkets in the United States. They spread across the country from large metropolitan areas to small rural communities and their floral departments come in all sizes too. But regardless of their size, supermarket floral centers all use the same calendar and focus their business on the same floral holidays.
Dena Telschow, floral manager at the Family Fresh Market #321 in New Richmond, WI, is busy readying her full-service floral department for Valentine’s Day. Her store, part of the Spartan-Nash group, borders Minnesota in far western Wisconsin. It’s located in a quiet, semi-rural community of 8,400 people.
When asked about what she does for Valentine’s Day and how she prepares for it, she willingly shared her secrets for success with Floral Marketing. Besides the normal pre-holiday routine and preparations, Telschow and her staff make the whole store a Valentine’s Day gift center. They use extensive cross-merchandising with bakery, produce, grocery and general merchandise to add to normal floral sales. A special self-service pre-order center is set up, and a countdown-to-Valentine’s Day calendar is posted to remind customers of the coming holiday.
By the time the holiday arrives there are balloons throughout the store and it only faintly resembles a supermarket. A special “Cupid’s Lane” is set up at one of the registers to expedite traffic. The entire store staff, having been briefed on proper care-and-handling procedures, works together to serve customers. Generous gift certificates are awarded to the sales associates who sell the most add-on items.
The Family Fresh Market sets up a display next to the floral center featuring a special Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two. The dinner ingredients include two 10-ounce rib-eye steaks, two twice-baked potatoes, vegetables and a delicious dessert for two, plus a dozen roses — all for $49.99.
How can that be beat? By a stylish young man decked out in a suit making Valentine’s Day flower deliveries. Now that’s a whole-store Valentine’s Day holiday.