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A designer’s perspective on roses keeps consumers top of mind

Consumers have emotions tied to their rose purchases. As florists, we must provide the customer with a top-quality product, along with a variety of designs and options, in order to satisfy those emotions.

We should always be looking for new ways to entice consumers to make their rose purchases with us and this cannot be accomplished by simply placing roses for sale out in buckets. We need to use fun, themed and colorful displays to feed consumers’ emotions and grab the attention of those not intending to make a purchase, capitalizing on the fact that they are in our supermarket atmosphere and inspiring them to buy. We also need to use quality product from a reputable supplier, to ensure future return sales.

The cold chain is paramount with roses and it must remain as consistent as possible from the grower, to the supply house, to our stores. How we handle the product when it arrives in our care greatly affects the life of the rose for the consumer. As a designer, this is the first step in providing the quality that our customers deserve.

ROSE-VASESA variety of colorful rose arrangements will appeal to customers’ emotions.Coolers should contain a variety of rose design options from a single rose in a vase, one dozen roses created in a round hand-tied bouquet dropped into a vase, a traditional long-stem rose arrangement in a vase, to a grand dozen roses in an art glass vase with Stargazer lilies and fillers, curly ting and more. Roses can be used in almost every fresh arrangement made for the cooler.

Keeping up with the times is essential and watching trends on social media helps us to be on top of our game. We are catering to the emotional needs of a wide range of age groups, so we should keep our options equally as wide to fit their diverse preferences.

For rose sales or specials in our supermarket, we always try to add on items that tie into the sale. We usually seek out a great deal on containers or move out inventory we have on hand from previous holidays. We may run a tropical green plant promotion or add rose bushes to the sale, and we also cross-merchandise with other departments in the store, such as steak dinners for two at Valentine’s Day. Maybe our own department won’t gain the sale, but someone in the store will and it will show on the bottom line.

Radio and paper advertising are used to promote sales and television ads may be used during holidays. In-store intercom spots are constantly promoting our rose sales while shoppers are in the store. Bag stuffers are used at the checkstands and we also set up a satellite register to offer roses out of the normal display space.

Catering to customers emotionally and financially, providing them with quality product and making their shopping experience enjoyable is what they will remember and that will keep them coming back. Always listening to your customers’ wants and needs ultimately will be the key to your floral department’s success.

Cheryl Overland is the floral manager at Hy-Vee in Albert Lea, MN. She can be contacted at or 507/373-2180.