Valentine's Day has arrived, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than by recognizing our outstanding florists who are on the front lines during the holidays. We interviewed customers who operated a retail space and got the inside scoop of their operations during a busy floral holiday.
Lafayette Gift Shop and Garden Center has a 73-year history that is truly inspiring for any aspiring business owner. Here is a look into their beautiful journey into the floral industry straight from the source. (The picture on the left showcases what the storefront looked like in the 1960s!)
We had a wonderful conversation with Jordan Davis, the Marketing and Sales Coordinator, and Wedding Consultant for Lafayette Gift Shop and Garden Center, to learn all about their process to prepare for Valentine's Day! To prepare for Valentine's day, the Lafayette team starts ordering hard goods in November. Their advice is to buy wisely and buy early! They set a revenue target for Valentine's Day and then determine which arrangements will need to be priced appropriately and how many will be required to meet that target.
Once all the numbers are established, the recipe building begins. Each recipe is printed out and taped on the buckets so each designer knows precisely which blooms coincide with each arrangement. As soon as the flowers are delivered, they are prepped and put into the bucket with the exact number of flowers needed to create a specific arrangement. Teams are designed to take on certain projects to get ready for Valentine's day--this way, it ensures everyone knows exactly what needs to be accomplished without feeling overwhelmed. Before the arrangement making, each team's stations are organized and equipped with the exact number of vases and materials they need.
The social media and email campaigns begin about three weeks before Valentine's Day. This is to let your current customer base know the plan in advance to plan accordingly. "When it comes to online ordering, it's critical to have your website look its best, with all of the anticipated product choices available, so that when you launch your Valentine's Day campaign, all of your products are listed correctly."
The Lafayette team averaged 500 arrangements sold last Valentine's Day season. The team comprises about 20 members during normal operations, but it is doubled during the busy holiday seasons (i.e., Valentine's Day and Mother's Day). To thank the team for such hard work, lunch is provided and a party to celebrate if sales goals are met!
The merchandise at Lafayette Gift Shop and Garden Center is ordered and displayed with a distinct matter of thought. Market Events play an important role in which merchandise is trendy and how to market to a specific customer base." Attending Market is such a great way to make connections and to see what is trending, not just in the floral industry, but other industries, as well. The vendors are educated with what is popular geographically and generationally. They can help with generating new ideas for your merchandise if you are stuck!"
The Lafayette Gift Shop has so many options for their patrons--there is always something new and exciting that caters to all their consumer needs! "If you are interested in expanding into the retail realm--do not be scared of trying something out of the box. Visit Market Events and get a feel for trends that are happening and focus on how to elevate your brand. Make sure to ask the vendors questions.. they are full of golden nuggets of knowledge!"
Lafayette Gift Shop and Garden Center is a true story of the dedication and love of flowers that span multiple generations. Follow them on Instagram to join their journey!
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