Floral continues to bloom

Articles
January 07, 2011

Floral continues to bloom

Retailers may be pleased by poinsettas at Christmas, but floral success requires an ever-changing variety of seasonal merchandising throughout the year. Think Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, outdoor bulb kits and more - as well as anniversaries and other personal events that call for flowers during every month. Merchants who think floral is optional because it isn't edible ought to recognize that floral beauty nurtures the spirit of shoppers - that when floral is displayed near produce departments at the start of shopper flow it can help open minds to more purchases. Why? Arrangements that last in a vase for a week or so are a recurring reminder that household heads can keep a sense of normalcy at home even in unsettling economic times. Emotions that influence purchases throughout the supermarket - which foods satisfy individual household members and signify caring - can be amplified in the floral department, where gifts and symbolism are so much in play. Consider these recession-era figures from Perishables Group FreshFacts® Powered by Nielsen for 63% ACV in supermarkets only (not including club, natural foods or specialty stores): In these stores, which represent nearly two-thirds of the supermarket channel, dollar sales of bouquets reached $1,568 per store per week on average in the 52 weeks ended September 25, 2010, up 2.9% from the same year-ago period. This was achieved on a 1.5% increase in the volume of bouquets sold, 325 per store per week, up from 321 a year earlier. During this latest period, the average retail price per bouquet edged up 1.4% to $4.82 from $4.75.

Retailers may be pleased by poinsettas at Christmas, but floral success requires an ever-changing variety of seasonal merchandising throughout the year. Think Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, outdoor bulb kits and more - as well as anniversaries and other personal events that call for flowers during every month. 

Merchants who think floral is optional because it isn't edible ought to recognize that floral beauty nurtures the spirit of shoppers - that when floral is displayed near produce departments at the start of shopper flow it can help open minds to more purchases. Why? Arrangements that last in a vase for a week or so are a recurring reminder that household heads can keep a sense of normalcy at home even in unsettling economic times.

Emotions that influence purchases throughout the supermarket - which foods satisfy individual household members and signify caring - can be amplified in the floral department, where gifts and symbolism are so much in play. Consider these recession-era figures from Perishables Group FreshFacts® Powered by Nielsen for 63% ACV in supermarkets only (not including club, natural foods or specialty stores):

In these stores, which represent nearly two-thirds of the supermarket channel, dollar sales of bouquets reached $1,568 per store per week on average in the 52 weeks ended September 25, 2010, up 2.9% from the same year-ago period. This was achieved on a 1.5% increase in the volume of bouquets sold, 325 per store per week, up from 321 a year earlier. During this latest period, the average retail price per bouquet edged up 1.4% to $4.82 from $4.75.

Meanwhile, flowering/foliage plants, which comprise the second largest segment of floral, also rose in dollar sales as the economy continued to stumble. This segment posted a 2.2% gain to $566 per store per week during the most recent 52 weeks, up from $554. This occurred despite a 3.2% unit volume decline from 243 flowering/foliage plants sold per store per week a year earlier to 235, because the average retail price rose by 5.5% to $2.40 from $2.28.

Among other key segments in floral, the third-highest dollar producer is outdoor plants/shrubs/seasonals, which rang up $314 per store per week over the latest 12 months, down 2.6% from $322 a year earlier; fourth is floral arrangements/vases/dish gardens, which posted $284 per store per week, down 5.4% from $300 a year earlier, the data showed.

Anticipated seasonal peaks occur at holidays. Number one is Mother's Day, during which floral sales within these measured supermarkets approached $140 million in both the latest 52 weeks and the year-earlier period. Number two is Valentine's Day, during which floral sales approached $100 million in the most recent 12 months, down from about $110 million in these stores the year earlier. Number three is Easter, at which time floral sales hit about $60 million in each of the past two years. Number four is Thanksgiving, during which floral sales exceeded $50 million in each of the past two years. A straight-line projection of these 63% ACV figures would accurately represent floral sales achieved throughout 100% of the supermarket channel, the Perishables Group said.

 

This story is from the upcoming issue of Facts, Figures & the Future (published on Monday, January 10th, 2011). Don't miss this issue! For your FREE subscription, click here.