SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Price Chopper Supermarkets here is building floral sales with substantial outdoor displays of potted plants.
At a recently opened store in Norwich, N.Y., a wide variety of such seasonal flowering plants as chrysanthemums and other, nonflowering plants, hanging baskets and perennial plants was arrayed in 50 feet of display stretched across the front of the store.
In addition, half the store vestibule was arranged with potted plants.
Price Chopper spokeswoman Joanne Gage said the range of floral items being sold at the Norwich store was "fairly typical of our floral departments. We stock everything from bedding plants to shrubs to tropicals, and a wide range of seasonal items. We've had tremendous response from our customers."
Gage said wherever setting and weather permit, Price Chopper displays potted plants in front of the stores and in vestibules as well as in floral departments. "It makes such a statement to our customers."
Prices at the Norwich store were very low for the area -- mums were priced at four pots for $10, and such perennials as astilbes and Asian lilies at two for $10. Gage said pricing has created significant consumer interest in the department. "This is not a loss leader, but prices have got to be attractive to compete with all the mass merchandisers in the markets."
Gage said some of the changes in floral merchandising may be a reflection of the work of Dean Smith, the company's new manager of floral merchandising, who took over the position earlier this year.