SEATTLE — QFC, a division of Kroger, recently became the first retailer to offer dozen-stem bundles of Rosa Parks Commemorative Freedom Roses, a new brand developed by Organic Style, that will honor Rosa Parks, the woman who helped inspire the civil rights movement in the U.S.
The roses are of the classic Freedom variety, showcasing large heads, high petal count, decreased thorns, good vase longevity and deep, rich red color. However, the roses honoring Rosa Parks also have longer stems and have been sustainably grown and certified.
This bouquet honoring Rosa Parks is the first in a line of “Champions of Humanity” tributes. Organic Style will donate a percentage of sale proceeds of each bouquet to charitable causes tied to each honoree. Donations stemming from the Rosa Parks bouquets will be destined for the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.
“This is the first in a series of roses to be named for extraordinary people who have made the world a better place,” explained Gerald Prolman, chief executive officer of Organic Style. “We are deeply honored to support Rosa Parks' vision for equality and a just society.”
QFC introduced the roses late last month to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of Parks' arrest and the anniversary of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott. A prepackaged bundle of one dozen retailed for $16.99. By comparison, QFC's house-branded Private Selection Freedom roses retailed for $8.99 per dozen with the chain's Advantage Card during the introductory period around the Christmas holiday.
Merchandising of the roses honoring Rosa Parks is done within the floral departments of the units visited by SN. Bundles of a dozen roses are bound by a plastic sleeve imprinted with the story of Rosa Parks, detailing her life and her accomplishments within the civil rights movement.
In QFC's flagship University Village store, the select roses are positioned within the reach-in cooler, adjacent to a display of single-stem classic Freedom red roses. Those classics were also merchandised on the department floor within tiered walk-around merchandisers that also offered other color varieties of roses.
In the newest QFC location on Mercer Street, the Parks bouquets were displayed on racks that shoppers pass by as they enter from the garage elevator.
Organic Style initiated its Charitable Bouquet program three years ago in keeping with Prolman's desire to commit to environmental and social justice causes. Forty-four floral selections are offered through the company's website to benefit nonprofits including America's Second Harvest, World Wildlife Fund and Mercy Corps. To date, more than $250,000 has been raised for these causes though these efforts.
Organic Style offers the Freedom roses honoring Rosa Parks through its wholesale division, EcoFlowers.com, by permission of Christian Every, president of Rosen Tantau, the Hamburg, Germany-based owner of the variety. The roses are also Certified Sustainably Grown by VeriFlora, the international program assuring environmental protection, fair labor practices and flower quality.