The holiday season is upon us, and special-order floral sales are on the rise at Associated Food Stores, Salt Lake City, according to floral buyer Annette Egan.
Egan said that poinsettias are still the most popular holiday item in the floral department, but there are a few newer trends that customers appear to be embracing as well.
For example, painted poinsettias — white poinsettias sprayed with glitter or floral paint — are something AFS is trying out this year. The technique allows Associated's floral departments to tailor a poinsettia to a shopper's home decor, and it is hoped that this will help boost sales if shoppers aren't enjoying a white Christmas.
“One thing that we've noticed about poinsettias over the years is that if it doesn't snow, white poinsettias don't sell,” Egan said.
Another trend is to create versatile gift arrangements that can be used even after the holidays.
“Our floral departments are also doing a lot of baskets that will maybe have a poinsettia in them, maybe another green plant and something else, so when the holidays are over they can pull the poinsettia out and drop another one of the blooming plants in there,” Egan said.
For example, Associated's “mumsettias” make the gift of mums, which are mostly popular in the fall, appropriate after Thanksgiving, Egan pointed out. The arrangements consist of white mums surrounding a red poinsettia.
Besides poinsettias, amaryllises remain popular, as do Christmas greens. Amaryllises also offer a longer-term gift, where often the flowers will bloom two to three months after they're given.
The floral departments at Lubbock, Texas-based United Supermarkets have noticed more of their shoppers ordering special holiday centerpieces, according to spokeswoman Michelle Owen.
“I think it's just another convenience item where they can come in and get their turkey, stuffing and can also go and specifically order a centerpiece for their table,” she said.