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In the Bloom with Maria: Keep safety in mind while preparing your business for the fall and winter sales seasons

In the bloom with MariaBy now, you’ve probably begun visualizing your holiday merchandising. As Hortica Retail Sales Specialist Maria Shepherd explains, making changes to the way your inventory is displayed is also an opportunity to minimize your insurance risks.

In the article “Summer Cleaning? Display Strategies That Drive Sales,” published June 21, 2019, in the Business Builder newsletter from the Society of American Florists, author Katie Hendrick Vincent took a look at some topics to consider when trying to boost business. She enlisted the help of display expert Becky Tyre, author of the blog Retail Details, to highlight some considerations that may help:

  • Color: Use colors to draw attention to particular areas and products. While bright colors stand out and draw customers, monochromatic displays can do the same if there’s visual interest.
  • Themes: Group products with a common color, motif, or purpose—like bath products, kitchen tools, bar ware, and travel items—to create a visual that can lead to browsing.
  • Signage: Aid visual merchandising by using letters or signs that indicate categories, departments, or seasons.
  • Furniture: Repurpose hutches and wardrobes as display cases and feature items like stationery, lotions, jewelry, and terrariums.
  • Table settings: Place merchandise at all angles, since most people tend to walk all the way around tables.
  • Dress forms: Display accessories like necklaces, bracelets, and hats with old mannequins.

If you decide to follow the best practices mentioned, don’t forget to keep safety in mind. Positioning top-heavy wardrobes for display shelving or knives as part of tabletop place settings can be an invitation for customer accidents.

In addition, be sure to look around your sales floor to make sure your new arrangement reduces hazards. Small plants and displays can be a safety concern if left in the way of foot traffic. It’s especially true if something is on the floor and can’t be seen around a larger shelf or display. Keep low-hanging items—such as flower baskets— away from being directly overhead to reduce the chance someone walks into them.

Some businesses are even upgrading their shops by adding things like gifts, snacks, and even wine, beer, and food tastings to boost sales. Many owners have found experiences like these are a great way to boost customer retention, bring in additional customers, and attract people who might not be familiar with a shop or design studio. If this appeals to you, be sure to do your homework first. That includes contacting your insurance agent to talk about liability protection when expanding your offerings. Specialty coverages such as food handling liability or liquor liability should be a consideration.

Seek out your carrier’s loss prevention resources for other sales floor safety recommendations. If you have questions on this or other aspects of your business insurance coverage, we’re here to help.

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For more information on protecting your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.

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