Celebrating strong Valentine’s Day sales
Apr. 23, 2008, Newark, Del. – With 70 per cent of floral retailers participating in Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) recent Valentine’s Day 2008 Floral Market Watch
survey reporting they saw increased sales over last year, it’s safe to
say that this year’s Valentine’s Day floral sales were “coming up
Survey respondents reported that several factors helped boost this year’s sales, including significantly better weather nationwide than last year’s snowy season.
“Looking back on last year’s low sales, we are fortunate to report that more than 25 per cent of retail respondents experienced sales increases of 10 per cent or more,” says PMA Floral Council Vice-Chairman Cindy Hanauer, director of floral operations for Winn-Dixie, Jacksonville, Fla. “Though suppliers ranked product availability, timing and shortages as their greatest challenges, retailers did not suffer. They reported increased sales, and ranked product shortages as least challenging.”
On the downside, floral retailers also reported that consumers’ concerns about the economy may have caused some softening in sales and product substitutions. While demand for Valentine’s Day flowers is typically inelastic and defined by customers’ past purchase behaviour – the iconic dozen red roses – most respondents reported more than 10 per cent increases in mixed bouquets, bunches and arrangements. That may present an opportunity for supermarket floral retailers, noted Hanauer, as supermarket flowers are perceived by consumers as being a lower-priced value over traditional florists.
Of additional note, 35 per cent of retailer respondents reported they offered delivery service this year, with 50 per cent of those retailers seeing an increase in orders; they also reported they relied more on Internet advertising this year to drive sales. Supplier respondents reported the percentage of flowers sold to Internet companies increased by an average of 10 to 20 per cent.
The second and latest Floral Market Watch survey reports that same-store sales increased during Valentine’s Day 2008 compared to 2007.
Data for this report was collected in March, and analyzed by floral marketing expert Sandy Hering of Floral Marketing Innovations, Mattapoisett, Mass., who also provides report commentary.
PMA’s new Floral Market Watch reports are a member service designed to provide a barometer of holiday performance for the supermarket floral industry, to help advance the marketing of floral products within that environment. The reports provide market trends data and analysis that savvy members can translate into increased sales opportunities and market share. Floral Holiday Market Watch reports will analyze sales and movement for the floral industry’s peak sales periods, including the December holiday season, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day.
“The post-holiday survey allows us to gather the market data and analysis we need to track industry sales trends, to help better meet consumer demands in the future,” notes PMA Floral Council chairman Bill Byland, vice-president of Micky’s Minis Flora Express, Millstadt, Ill.
That proved especially true with the Valentine’s Day report uncovering the growth percentage in supplier’s internet sales and retailer’s floral delivery sales.
The Floral Holiday Market Watch reports are based on confidential surveys collected online by PMA from retailers, growers and floral goods suppliers. PMA estimates that respondents to the Valentine’s Day 2008 survey represent 12,000 of an estimated 20,000 stores that have floral departments.
The Floral Holiday Market Watch report on Valentine’s Day 2008 is available free of charge to PMA members. The next report will cover the Easter holiday. For more information, visit PMA’s website or contact the PMA Information Resource Centre at 302-738-7100.
MORE ABOUT THE PMA
Founded in 1949, the Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association serving more than 2,100 companies representing every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain.