“A rose is a rose is a rose” was written in a poem by Gertrude Stein in 1913 and expresses the idea that simply using the name of a thing evokes its associated emotions and imagery.
So what are consumers imagining when it comes to roses, and how do we get their full attention with this flower?
Surveys on Pinterest found that the rose is the top flower pinned, with the strongest following in the spring garden pins and wedding flower pins. This helps in knowing that the rose is still sought after, but have we made roses too common? Today they can be found anywhere from the high-end florist to the impulse aisle at the gas station.
There are many things to consider when carrying roses in your floral department, so take the time to figure out who your consumers are and what they are really looking for. Here are a few suggestions.
• Have your displays color-blocked and use consistent bucket sizes.
• Make sure the displays have no blown or dead rose bunches and keep the guard petals cleaned up on the roses.
• Never underestimate the power of a new color or variety of rose. New colors can be big sellers because they spark more interest and attract the consumer more than common colors. Remember that not every customer likes exactly what you like, so always keep a variety of colors in supply.
• Some rose varieties with higher petal counts will open quickly but have longevity. Many consumers will actually reach for the plump, open rose as long as it looks healthy, so it’s very important to remove those guard petals.
• When making your displays, keep in mind that there is more than one consumer group buying your roses. The male consumer gravitates toward red, and usually buys a dozen roses, or one single rose, both with fillers and greens, and price isn’t much of an issue. However, most female consumers (who are still, according to grocery surveys, the primary shoppers) strongly consider price because a flower purchase may replace a food purchase. Quality and color are important for this consumer, but not fillers and greens.
• Keep roses as the focal point in your floral cooler, have several price points, and always have them in stock because they are strongly appealing to customers.
Roses can be one of your best sellers because they are the universally recognized flower by all consumers and, as we all know, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.
Sue DeMuth is the manager of floral merchandising for SpartanNash in Edina, MN. She can be contacted at susan.demuth@