For Anton Engelmann, the owner of Town and Country Gardens in Geneva, Illinois, Easter sales were “epic,” and Mother’s Day was “good.” With Thanksgiving and Christmas shaping up to be two more strong holidays, the momentum for a big Valentine’s Day is there — for florists who take the time now to prepare.
“Planning and prep are more important than ever,” said Engelmann, who has four locations and a year-round team of 14 full-time and 22 part-time employees. This year, the holiday falls on the Sunday of a long weekend. (And, oh yes, still in the middle of a pandemic, of course.) “A Sunday Valentine’s Day will most definitely look different, but we as florist need to be ready for a [compressed] two- to three-day holiday,” he added.
Engelmann will be sharing more insight and perspective Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. ET as part of the Society of American Florists’ Gear Up for Valentine’s Day, a virtual event that’s free for SAF members and sponsored by FTD. The event, which includes a cross-segment panel discussion, Q&A time, breakouts for roundtable discussions and a “Pal-entine’s Day” Design Demo + Happy Hour, aims to arm attendees with all of the information, advice and tools and best practices they need to succeed on Valentine’s Day 2021.
For Engelmann, a big key to success will be a solid online strategy, including strategic social media and digital advertising approaches that put the emphasis on ROI. “There is a balanced approach that gives you a chance to optimize your marketing and advertising, but it’s not be so overboard that you are just another ‘click to the trash’ [in customers’ inboxes] or a quick scroll over on someone’s feed,” he said.
Another point he’ll be emphasizing during the Gear Up for Valentine’s Day panel is the critical task of keeping your staff updated, particularly on any supply chain slowdowns and how your team can help mitigate the effects.
“During these unprecedented times, I feel that communication with my staff is most important,” he said. “One day we might be slow and the next three days are super busy. As a result, you need to start with your salespeople. Let them know product availability to help them sell what you have. Designers have to be creative and willing to substitute.”
Find out more about Gear Up for Valentine’s Day and register today to attend the event.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.