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Local Hy-Vee floral team recognized

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Cherokee Hy-Hee floral team was recently recognized with the "Merchansising Award of Excellence." Pictured are Jessica Foresman, Katie Booth, Jessica Collins and Nancy Brutsman. Photo contributed
A little movie magic meant big sales for Katie Booth and the floral team at the Hy-Vee Store in Cherokee.

Their "Lights - Camera - Roses!" promotion for Hy-Vee's annual rose sale captured the imagination of both customers and the judges in the 2012 "Merchandising Award of Excellence" contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems.

Booth's movie-theater-themed promotion was so successful that the store sold as many as 6,000 single stems of roses in the two-week sale, at 50-cents each. That feat is even more impressive given the fact that Cherokee has a population of only 5,200 people.

"It was the most roses we've ever sold in the sale," Booth reveals. "We had people buying 100, 50, four dozen."

The floral department did so by creating a display that engaged all five senses and ignited customer excitement about the rose sale. Booth evoked the feel of a movie theater with attention-getting signage and props, a clever community tie-in and freshly popped popcorn, all of which drew customers to the real star of the show-the beautiful roses.

The display, at the front of the store immediately grabbed interest with a theater-style marquee that said, "Now Showing: Million Stem Rose Sale." Just below the marquee, enticing stems of colorful roses were arrayed in buckets decorated to look like popcorn buckets.

A director's chair and clap boards as well as oversized replicas of a soda cup and popcorn bucket reinforced the movie theme. At a "ticket booth," which doubled as the department's wrapping station, customers could get free tickets to the town's local movie theater. In addition, the display successfully cross-merchandised baked goods, candy and DVDs.

The floral department staff also dressed in black slacks and tuxedo-style T-shirts.

The "Merchandising Award of Excellence" contest judges were also wowed, awarding Booth a trip to the International Floriculture Expo in Miami Beach, Fla., in June.

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