Viewpoints

Floral, Fresh Are Venturing Off the Beaten Path

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It’s no secret that shoppers look for stores with great fresh departments. When customers talk about their favorite supermarket, they usually point out how fresh the meat or vegetables are. No one wants soggy carrots, even if they are cheap.

In response, chains have been carefully fostering bigger and better perimeter departments. And, some retailers have gone the unconventional route and cross-merchandised fresh products in center store areas.

Take Hank’s Thriftway, a one store independent in Hillsboro, Ore. As reported in a story by SN reporter Roseanne Harper, Hank’s Thriftway used bouquets in Super Bowl promotions last year and planned to do it again this year.

One might expect bouquets by the registers, yet Hank’s moved a floral display near the heavily trafficked beer cooler days before the big game. Hank’s floral manager then made a sign suggesting that men buy flowers to thank the people behind all the game day cooking, but I think women buying beer would be just as likely to grab one of the reasonably priced bouquets when expecting company.

A Whole Foods Market in the Union Square neighborhood of Manhattan places floral in well-trafficked, yet untraditional locations. Sure, shoppers can pick up a bouquet when they enter the store, but colorful mini bouquets are also placed in a spot along the bottom of the escalator. Because these bouquets aren’t surrounded by a ton of other floral items, they are particularly eye-catching. Plus, the flowers welcome customers as they walk into the produce department.

With flowers being such an impulse buy, cross-merchandising in areas besides the registers and the floral department is a big opportunity to make floral stand out. An affordable price point would sweeten the deal.

Cross-merchandising doesn’t have to stop with floral. Anaheim, Calif.-based Northgate Gonzalez Market wheels a small display of meat and fresh herbs around its stores.

Why not put a small mobile display of fresh mozzarella and vegetables next to the boxes of spaghetti?

If that kind of display is too difficult to maintain, retailers can do more with existing coolers to cross-pollinate between the fresh departments to create meal suggestions. That way, fresh products stand out and shoppers go home with an idea for dinner.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 1

on Feb 4, 2013

Dear Jenna,
Flower purchases can be much more than impulse buys in my opinion.
As someone who has been growing and marketing cut flowers for over 30 years, I would argue that an improved floral department with proper open refrigeration, digital signage, informational kiosk and "easy arrange" containers would bring customers to the supermarket.

Make it easy for customers to order flowers from their cell phone or tablet and pick up at the supermarket on their way to or from work. Imagine the sales of flowers and of course other items!

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David Orgel

David Orgel is executive director, content & user engagement, of Supermarket News (SN) and its website, SupermarketNews.com. Orgel delivers his opinions on industry trends through a bi-weekly...

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Jon Springer has been writing about food, food retailers and food retailing for more than 10 years, and is in his second tour of duty with Supermarket News. His prior experience includes covering the...
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