Here are seven steps to more effective visual merchandising through the use of flowers.
- Choose the right application. Too many jewelry visual merchandisers overuse silk flowers in jewelry display cases. Remember, every visual presentation reflects your expertise in fashion, design and style. Having faded, worn and inexpensive silk flowers in a jewelry case can detract from the jewelry and discredit the jewelry store. The use of silk flowers as jewelry display case props is an overused and somewhat outdated approach. Today, floral trends favor the use of natural materials. Consider accents in wood, bark, stone, cork and even a grouping of materials like coffee beans which can look very stylish and in vague as compared silk flowers. Go back to the image, theme and mood you want to create.
- Choose the right color. Flowers and jewelry can have great impact with shoppers through the use of color. Color sets a mood and feeling for an environment or occasion. Red is a dominate color and represents excitement and romance. Gift occasions like Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, etc. are associated with red flowers. Red carnations and red gerbera daisies are popular substitutes for red roses. Blue is great color to add a soothing and cool feeling on hot summer days. Many blue flowers have been tented, but should be fine to use. Select flower colors to set a mood or convey a themed message. Lots of flower varieties come in yellow for summer. Look for yellow, orange, bronze, brown, amber and purple for fall flowers. Consider both complimentary and contrasting colors and materials to make visual statements.
- Choose the right thematic message. Too often jewelry display cases look like long horizontal white bars with lots of sparkle. Flowers can break that up that look. For example, jewelers can use a vase of white flowers on top of a display case to direct shoppers to wedding rings. White roses make a very elegant statement, but may not last as long under overhead lighting as will white mums. Why not place a vase of mixed flowers on top of a display case that holds an eclectic collection of jewelry? A small nosegay can stop a shopper long enough to get them to pay attention to the merchandise in the case below the flowers. Use seasonal colors in flowers to reinforce trendy jewelry.
- Choose the right variety. There are several varieties and colors to choose from. Roses and mums are the most popular flowers in America and come in a vast variety of head sizes and stem lengths. The fragrance of flowers can really add to the store atmospherics of a jewelry store. Not all flowers have been bred for fragrance. Some are bred to produce a larger flower heads and others to be longer lasting. Not all flower varieties have the same shelf life after harvesting.
- Choose the right material. The use of ribbon in floral bouquets should only be used if jewelers are trying to emphasize a classic or traditional approach to jewelry. Ribbon in bouquets seems to be on a downward spiral right now. The use of natural materials is very popular in design and that has led to a decline in the use of ribbon in bouquets. Natural leaves that have been preserved come in a variety of colors and are an understated complement to displayed jewelry. Find natural materials to replace silk flowers as accents in display cases. Invest in stylish vases with sturdy bases that make design statements. Don’t settle for inexpensive vases. Remember, you are setting a mood and creating examples of your taste as a fashion expert.
- Choose the right source. Some jewelry stores take advantage of standing orders with local florists. These shops often deliver weekly to restaurants and office buildings. Another source for floral arrangements is the local grocery store. While the services offered are very limited, the price of arrangements should be affordable for any jewelry store. Another option is to buy fresh cut flowers by the stem or bunch from a local grocery store and create your own designs. Be sure to check the inventory date next to the price and select the freshest flowers. Balance, depth and proportion are the key floral design concepts I have stressed to students while teaching visual merchandising at the Gemological Institute of America.
- Chose the right care and handling. Some flowers will only last a few days; while others, if properly handled, can last a couple weeks. Before arranging flowers be sure to cut the stems under water. This keeps air from getting in the stem and will greatly expand the life of the flowers. Cut flowers should come with floral preservative too. Be sure to use the preservative. Change the water every other day and add more floral preservative to warm water to extend the shelf life of cut flowers.
Adding fresh flowers to your store adds an element of excitement to the store’s environment. Flowers are noticed by shoppers, especially women. Expect some shoppers to comment on the color and scent of the flowers. Use flowers to command and direct the attention of store shoppers and to reflect your expertise in fashion and accessories.
How do you use flowers in your jewelry store?