The official observance of Mother’s Day is credited to a woman by the name of Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia. Anna’s mother died in 1905 and two years later, Anna honored her mother by holding a church ceremony in remembrance of her. She was so moved by the success of the ceremony that she began a massive campaign to adopt a formal holiday honoring mothers. She sent letters all over the state of West Virginia appealing to ministers to help her in her venture. In 1910, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. A year later, many other states followed suit. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May every year.
THE MEANING OF THE CARNATION – Anna’s mother had a favorite flower, the white carnation. Anna promoted the wearing of a white carnation as a symbol of devotion. As the years passed, this custom has remained. Today, pink carnations are often worn to represent love for a living mother while white carnations are worn in respect for those who are no longer living.
Mother’s Day is May 14th, husbands, grown daughters and sons, as well as children at home all look for ways to express their feelings. A lot of them come into our stores to find that special item they want to give to Mom. We need to make a few suggestions and create some impulse sales. In lots of stores, Mother’s Day is the largest floral sales week of the year. Now that we know the “meaning of the Carnation” we need to take advantage of it and let our customers know, and while we’re at it, sell some pink and white carnations too. Mother’s Day is also one of the busiest days for restaurants and because Mom will be treated for dinner whether it’s at a restaurant or a family member’s home so don’t get caught short on product or labor hours because pre-Mother’s Day week will be a big sales week.
FLORAL – This is a big blooming plant sales week but not as big as Easter. Your display should include a wide assortment of 6” or larger blooming as well as a few 4” blooming such as violets. Fresh-cuts really sell well also. Fact is you will sell more fresh-cuts than you will potted so order them in. Mother’s Day is a huge fresh-cut holiday, you can sell bouquets and arrangements and single stems if you plan it right. Cut flowers are the number one expenditure for Mother’s Day with arrangements leading loose flowers including loose/boxed, bunch/bouquets and corsages by a wide margin. Of all the fresh-cut flowers purchased for Mother’s Day, 47% are mixed flowers, 23% are roses, 7% are carnations and 20% are other single flower types, according to the consumer tracking study. Value-added items are the first to leave the store. The overwhelming majority of all floral purchases made for Mother’s Day are for gifting (88%). The purchaser’s mother most often receives the fresh cut flowers, while the purchaser’s spouse most often receives the bedding plants. Make sure you upgrade since 88% of you floral items will be gifts! Just like Easter, merchandise by category and colors within the categories. Being the big event it is, every year we start early planning by looking at the floral survey closely and reviewing last year’s orders and sales records. Be sure to see Mother’s Day floral survey included in this week’s Produce Talk. Remember floral is 85% impulse so how fresh and sharp your display’s look will really make a difference!
THE DEPARTMENT – Even though Mom will probably be taken out to dinner for Mother’s Day, pre-Mother’s Day selling is huge. Look closely at scheduling because it is a MUST keeping your department loaded and fresh. Strawberries will be a big sales item so start with a display that is big enough and make sure you display the entire category example 1#, 2#, stems, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, organic and conventional, the entire category will generate some sales and excitement. Request displays space up front of store for that “first in cart” sale.
Tomatoes are another item that will really sell, but you need to promote the entire category. Sweet Corn will sell also. Remember to sell husked corn whether you buy it already husk or you husk it yourself, people will pay the price for convenience. If weather is nice, expect these two items to be big for cookouts. Your salad section will continue to sell, make sure you have all the varieties that you customers want. Don’t give any customer a reason to go to your competition to buy something that you don’t have. Sizing might be issue on grapes and stone fruit but have it on hand. Go big on promoting berries, tomatoes, corn, melons, fresh cut fruit, all you value-added items and really concentrate on FLORAL. Be sure to include your Crosset merchandiser in all of your plans.