Several years ago, having watched customers move further from traditional (big) floral centerpieces for Thanksgiving dinner, Shirley Lyons, AAF, of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts in Eugene, Oregon, made a strategic decision to think smaller.
Instead of putting out a few showstopper designs, Lyons, former president of the Society of American Florists, put out smaller, lower vases in groupings. Each design retailed for $20 to $30 and customers were encouraged to buy them as singles or in a bundle for their table.
The idea turned out to be a winner, reflective of the fact that Americans are celebrating the holiday differently today than they have in the past, often with more casual place settings and desire for more flexibility — rather than a big centerpiece in the middle, they want a 3-inch vase here, another one there.
According to an SAF survey in 2015, about 37 percent of florists saw Thanksgiving sales drop last year; the remaining respondents were equally divided between increased and flat sales. Overall spending on Thanksgiving dinner, however, has increased, according to data from the American Farm Bureau Federation, which reported that in 2015, average American families will spend $50.11 for their Thanksgiving spread. That’s more than twice as much as they spent in 1987, when a 10-person turkey dinner cost $24.51.
Read more about that idea and get a jumpstart on one month-long pre-Christmas promotion that a florist in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, says just might eliminate the need for post-holiday markdowns on Christmas goods.