In Poinsettias, It’s How You Sell, Not What You Sell

Poinsettias looked as good at retail as I have seen in recent years, demonstrating great plant quality and some real consumer value. Take, for example, the 8-inch poinsettia produced by Mid-American Growers retailing at a Chicago Walmart for an amazing $10 value. Poinsettias at other retailers were, for the most part, above average in quality and even a good consumer value.

With so many reds on the market, it is difficult to discern which varieties stand out. Fortunately, while I was at Tagawa Garden Center, a Denver retailer that sells poinsettias by variety, I noticed ‘Premium Red’ stood out as very bright and as one of the most attractive reds.

I also spotted a number of ‘Premium Red’ at Lowe’s in Northern Wisconsin, which looked good in natural light and under in-store lighting.

Colors & Varieties

Now that it is clear product quality is improving, what about selection? Although red has and will continue to dominate, particularly in the poinsettia’s mid-season, there are a lot of novelty colors that resonate well with the consumer based on my observations of picked-over shelf space.

‘Ice Punch’ looked fantastic, as growers have now learned how to put some size on it. It looked very appealing at Home Depot in Baltimore. Home Depot had Christmas novelties in small ceramic-themed figures with a 2-inch poinsettia retailing for $6.99. Baltimore Home Depots also had some of the best ‘Monet’ in 8- and 10-inch pots that were far above average.

Packaging

On the packaging front, there are more sleeves being used with a built-in handle – a real convenience for the consumer and arguably more protective in colder winter climates. Freezing and damaging poinsettias between the store and the car is a real concern. I saw this first hand in one market, where the temperature was 30°F with a 25 mph wind. I observed a number of plants in shopping carts being transported across the parking lots without sleeves. It makes you wonder what impact packaging has on current and future sales in colder climates.

In many stores, sleeves are slid down to the bottom of the pot for constructing more visual and compelling displays. As the consumer picks up the plant, the sleeve remains on the shelf. If they buy the plant, many times the sleeve stays and the consumer leaves with an unprotected plant.

Novelties

How about painted poinsettias? For the past two seasons, I have seen a lack of interest from the national retailers and varying levels of interest with the independent garden centers (IGCs). Some contend many growers miscalculated how much paint to apply, resulting in less attractive plants. I have seen large numbers of glittered and snowed poinsettias, though, and this trend seems to carry on. The painted era, however, seems to have come to a close.

Plant quality is on the rise, too, as novelty varieties are incorporated well into the average product mix. But the missing element in consumer marketing is how and where plants are displayed.

IGCs devote a larger part of their retail selling area to poinsettias as a percentage of total space allocation. They don’t have an executive in a corporate office telling them how to maximize sales through a “cookie cutter” display planogram. Also, poinsettias are a much larger percentage of the IGC’s sales versus the national retailers.

Merchandising

Where poinsettias are located in any store makes a huge difference. Many growers are starting to realize the impact on their sell-through and store comps are directly related to how and where these items are displayed.

Cart displays offer the opportunity for mobility so poinsettias can be located in all high-traffic areas of the store. The center aisle adjacent to the cash registers (often referred to as “Action Alley”) in the box stores is clearly the most effective because that area garners the highest foot traffic and provides poinsettias with a lot of “face time” with the consumer. While some stores rely mostly on the somewhat abandoned garden centers as their prime areas for poinsettia displays, you would have to guess sales are not very brisk.

What appears to be some of the most effective merchandising techniques form my observations are:

• Putting poinsettias in front of the consumer, not in some obscure corner of the store

• A combination of grow cart, table and riser displays

• Preponderance of the poinsettia displays in the center aisle (“Action Alley”)

• Prices clearly visible on all sides of the cart and table displays

• Color blocking the various varieties for maximum impact

• An array of retail price points without confusing the consumer

• Addition of a limited number of no-poinsettia SKUs

• Moving the items on the top shelves of the carts down as the carts get shopped
The real key element is getting the poinsettias in high-traffic areas.

After six months of production and the cost of sales and distribution, no one wants to discard unsold plants. But if they are not merchandised where they get high levels of consumer exposure, sales will never be maximized. That is not why growers make these huge investments.

CORRECTION
Floral Plant Growers does not supply plants to Lowe’s. We regret this error published in the February issue.

 

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...
PP&L CAST 2015 intros

April 22, 2015

6 Breeding Companies Serve Up New Varieties At Pacific Plug & Liner

Pacific Plug & Liner’s theme this year, Labyrinth, a conservatory of the world’s most captivating plants, was perfectly topped off (pun intended) with fascinators for the women and newsboy caps for the men. The PP&L team dressed their part to act out the gothic “conservatory of the world’s most captivating plants.” Truly, the displays looked like they practically popped out of a catalog, and the costumes were a nice touch. Retailers take heed, the fully merchandised displays at Pacific Plug & Liner are worthy of emulating. We’ll let the pictures tell the story of all the fabulous variety introductions presented at  Pacific Plug & Liner’s 2015 California Spring Trials, where Cultivaris, Cohen Nurseries, Histil Nurseries, Jaldety Nurseries, Southern Living/Sunset Collection and Pacific Plug & Liner all highlighted their 2016 introductions.  

Read More
Speedling 2015 CAST intros

April 22, 2015

Speedling Inc. Presents New Varieties From ABZ Seeds, Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, Vista Farms & PSI

You name it, we saw it at Speedling's California Spring Trials location in San Juan Bautista, where five companies showed off their new introductions for 2016.

Read More
PittMoss on Shark Tank

April 22, 2015

PittMoss Wins On Shark Tank

Mont Handley, president and CEO of PittMoss, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank on April 17 to try to get the “sharks” to invest in his peat moss alternative. Three investors from the TV show contributed $600,000 to PittMoss for a 35 percent stake in the company. Check out this clip from ABC’s website in which Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec discuss getting on board with the product. PittMoss is an alternative to sphagnum peat moss, made up of a mix of proprietary additives and recycled paper rescued from landfill space. Handley founded the Pittsburgh-based company in 1994. What started as a small experiment grew into a full-fledged business with the help of funding provided by an EPA SBIR grant and Pittsburgh’s Idea Foundry. Today, PittMoss is available to commercial greenhouses and nurseries from Michigan to Maine to North Carolina, with plans to grow. To learn more, visit PittMoss’ website, or check it […]

Read More
Latest Stories
PittMoss on Shark Tank

April 22, 2015

PittMoss Wins On Shark Tank

Mont Handley, president and CEO of PittMoss, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank on April 17 to try to get the “sharks” to invest in his peat moss alternative. Three investors from the TV show contributed $600,000 to PittMoss for a 35 percent stake in the company. Check out this clip from ABC’s website in which Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec discuss getting on board with the product. PittMoss is an alternative to sphagnum peat moss, made up of a mix of proprietary additives and recycled paper rescued from landfill space. Handley founded the Pittsburgh-based company in 1994. What started as a small experiment grew into a full-fledged business with the help of funding provided by an EPA SBIR grant and Pittsburgh’s Idea Foundry. Today, PittMoss is available to commercial greenhouses and nurseries from Michigan to Maine to North Carolina, with plans to grow. To learn more, visit PittMoss’ website, or check it […]

Read More
Syngenta logo

April 15, 2015

Syngenta Names Chris Freeman Senior Key Account Manager…

Chris Freeman is the new senior key account manager for Syngenta Flowers, Home & Garden's Commercial Sales business in the Americas, effective March 2015. Freeman, who joined Syngenta in 2006, carries more than 25 years of experience in the agriculture and floriculture business.

Read More
Lake Buchanan_LCRA

April 10, 2015

USDA Designates Areas Of West And Southwest As Drought …

The ongoing drought has resulted in disaster area designations in counties across nine Western and Southwestern states, including Texas, where some reservoirs are at or near historically low levels.

Read More

April 9, 2015

Altman Plants’ Online Cactus Shop Shows Strong Sa…

Altman Plants recently opened its new Cactus Shop, an online retail store that sells a variety of cactus and succulents. The store is a take-off of Altman’s original wholesale business, as the company started as a mail order catalog.

Read More
Dummen

April 8, 2015

Dümmen Group Welcomes Jim Devereux And Andrew Konicki T…

Dümmen group recently announced the addition of Jim Devereux and Andrew Konicki to its team. They are the newest members of the Key Account and Broker Support team for Dümmen, and will be responsible for building, developing and maintaining current broker and grower customer relationships.

Read More
Gov._Jerry_Brown_California

April 8, 2015

California Institutes First Ever Statewide Mandatory Wa…

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced April 1 that, for the first time in state history, action will be taken to implement mandatory water restrictions, with the ultimate goal of reducing water usage by 25 percent. As Californians are pushed to conserve more, growers will need to think about how demand for products will be affected.

Read More
DNA-logo

March 31, 2015

DNA Green Group Will Acquire Rijnplant

DNA Green Group and Riknplant have finalized DNA Green Group's acquisition of Rijnplant, meaning that the breeding and propagation activities in pot and cut anthurium, bougainvillea and heliconia will transfer to DNA Green Group.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadl…

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More

March 23, 2015

UF/IFAS Appoints Joseph Albano As Director Of Mid-Flori…

The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has a new directors for its Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (REC) on Apopka, Fla. The role has been filled by Joseph Albano, a research horticulturist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with more than 25 years of experience.

Read More

March 17, 2015

Pike Nurseries Implements Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Independent garden retailer Pike Nurseries has announced it will become an employee-owned company. Pike Nurseries management has combined with its sister corporation in California, Armstrong Garden Centers, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

March 10, 2015

GrowIt! Mobile App Now Available For Android

The mobile app GrowIt! Garden Socially can now be used by gardeners with Android-based smartphones. Now available on the Google Play Market, GrowIt! helps users find plants to fit their lifestyle and connect them with other local gardeners.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and …

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Maryland Green Industry Associations Unite

The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association recently announced that it is expanding its reach to include the greenhouse industry, meaning it has become The Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA). The change comes as a result of the planned dissolution of the former Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association and the invitation for those members to join the existing and renamed association.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Ann…

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
myers industries Lawn and Garden Logo

February 24, 2015

Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn And Garden Business Sold, N…

The management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group, along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have recently acquired the Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn and Garden business. The new company is named The HC Companies, and will continue as a North American leading provider of horticulture containers supplying the greenhouse, nursery and retail markets.

Read More
american-hort-logo

February 17, 2015

AmericanHort Announces New Board Members

AmericanHort recently announced the election of new officers and members to the board of directors. Each will assume their positions on the board during Cultivate’15, July 11 to 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More
All American Selections

February 17, 2015

All-America Selections Elects New Officers, Names New J…

While meeting during the Flower and Vegetable Seed Conference in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the American Seed Trade Association, All-America Selections elected new officers for a two-year term. Read on to learn about the new officers, as well as all of the new judges that were added in 2014.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower.com on your desktop, on your phone, on your tablet

February 11, 2015

GreenhouseGrower.com Relaunches With Responsive Design …

Greenhouse Grower magazine, the nation’s leader in profits, production and education for greenhouse growers, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, GreenhouseGrower.com. The new design is the product of direct user feedback and GreenhouseGrower.com analytics, and includes responsive design for ease of mobile use.

Read More