feasting on flowers
A cornucopia of floral promotions ripe for Thanksgiving.
by Teresa P. Lanker
In many flower shops, Thanksgiving has become nearly an
invisible holiday. However, by creating a couple of clever promotions
focused on Thanksgiving traditions, you can spark flower sales. Here are
10 ideas to use as a springboard to create your own original holiday
1. A pair
Focus this feature on a traditional Thanksgiving gift
such as a mum plant or fresh centerpiece. Entice customers with special
pricing that encourages the purchase of “One for a gift and another for
2. Discounts for donations.
Offer selected Thanksgiving merchandise at discounted
prices in exchange for donations to a local food drive. Incrementally
increase the discount percentage based on the number of items donated by
3. Free with purchase.
Reward customers who purchase fresh centerpieces above
a specified dollar amount with free fresh flower napkin rings. Assemble
them quickly and easily by hot-gluing flowers to floral tape rings or
loops of aluminum wire. The pieces can be constructed at the point of
sale or made in advance to coordinate with centerpieces on display.
Combine merchandise to create desirable packages, such
as wine and roses or a centerpiece and candlesticks. Price these sets so
they are a better value when purchased together. Wrap them like gifts to
increase perceived value as well as customer satisfaction.
Add value to the traditional centerpieces by using
long-lasting foliages together with evergreens, cones and berries. Layer
fall-colored flowers into the mix, and market the design as one that
transitions from Thanksgiving to Christmas with the simple replacement
or removal of the spent harvest blossoms.
6. 3-2-1 hostess bouquet.
These cash-and-carry specials can be customized to each
customer. Three types of flowers, two fillers and one foliage, gathered
into a simple bouquet and tied with ribbon, makes an affordable hostess
gift that’s easy to drop in a vase or pitcher.
more, save more.
Design fresh-flower posies for placement at each table
setting, and price them so they become a better value as quantities are
increased. Have a “kiddy table” option available as well, including
novelties such as fresh flower cupcakes or ice-cream sundaes.
Partner with a nearby bakery, deli, coffee shop or
gourmet market to deliver gifts of food paired with flowers. Create a
selection of holiday designs that incorporate beautifully packaged
pastries, candies or dessert coffees, or stack boxed gourmet foods into
a tower with a floral topper. Tuck a bud vase into each of your gift
baskets before wrapping them, then pierce the packaging and add fresh
flowers at the point of sale.
now, thanks later.
Encourage corporate gift purchases with fresh flowers
or gourmet baskets that have the added bonus of a gift certificate for a
future purchase. Place each gift certificate in a decorative box or
accessorized envelope. Provide a discount when the two items are
Sell the traditional horn-of-plenty as a centerpiece
kit, with water tubes, preserved oak leaves and stems of fresh flowers.
Provide simple instructions on how customers can fill the cornucopias
with their own fresh fruit and tuck in tubed blossoms and foliage to
create holiday centerpieces of their own design.
Teresa P. Lanker is
assistant professor and coordinator of floral design and marketing at
The Ohio State University ATI. Contact her at