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Noviflora revitalises houseplant displays for a Swiss home improvement chain

In 2016, Noviflora took over the responsibility for the houseplant displays at 25 Jumbo home improvement stores in Switzerland. Since then, sales have risen significantly. More importantly, however, is that this retail chain has increased its profit on the sale of houseplants by 15%.

Account Manager Hans Pullens: 'Our display concept and its implementation have revitalised this category. The improvement quickly showed results and Jumbo is very pleased with this new situation.'

For a long time, houseplant displays at these Swiss home improvement stores were rather neglected. With little attention devoted to them, sales for this category were disproportionate to those for garden plants. Jumbo was even considering eliminating its houseplant displays altogether. But this was before Noviflora appeared on the scene. A pilot project at five stores quickly showed that the Noviflora approach was the way to go. After that, the company was assigned to manage these displays at all 25 Jumbo stores. Hans: 'We contributed our ideas about the look and feel of the presentation furniture, the banners and the information material. Next, we introduced a systematic approach, order and regularity to our range management. We decide periodically on the product range and volumes for the various stores as based on figures, insights and experience. 

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Account Manager Hans Pullens

Getting real-time insights

While one store has 10 display benches, another has 20. Every store receives just the right plants for each of its benches. Every plant has a barcode. Every time a product is sold or marked down in price, the store's cash register scanning system immediately sends this information to Noviflora. Hans gets an almost real-time picture of which plants were sold on each bench so that the inventory file for each store can be automatically updated. Every week, the account manager e-mails a purchase order recommendation based on what has gone in and out of the store during the previous days. Within an hour, the stores confirm the recommendation, possibly with a few changes of their own. Two days later, the plants will be on display in the store.

 

Changing themes 

Noviflora has remote access to what is going on in the houseplant department on any one day or period. Hans: 'Based on this, we can do an even better job of deciding on the product range for the following year and can keep adjusting it in the meantime.' A quarter of the plants on display change with every season to retain the interest of shoppers. These plants could reflect the importance of a holiday such as Valentine's Day or Easter or a certain theme such as plants that purify the air. They will remain on display for five to six weeks, after which some of them will be sold at a discount to make room for the next theme. A month before the start of each theme we create a folder campaign, which allows us enough time to make any necessary changes. 

 

Overcrowded displays lead to losses

Hans believes that it's more important to improve Jumbo's profitability than increasing its sales volume. 'We take a gentleman's approach to selling. We want to be a real partner who respects our customers and keeps their financial interests in mind. Simply focusing on volumes to increase sales will eventually backfire. This is because overcrowded displays lead to losses. Now that we're supplying our stores with the right volumes, losses have been cut by 15%. We're even daring to give margin guarantees - at the risk of fines if we don't achieve them. To do this, you have to be sure of what you're doing.'

Displaying flowers and plants - and thus category management - is different for home improvement stores than it is for supermarkets. At supermarkets, flowers and plants are impulse articles; they have a very high purchasing frequency, especially flowers. At home improvement stores, consumers select a plant to serve as an important part of their home, just as they would a piece of furniture. They have other considerations in mind and make their purchases at other times of the year. Flowers are seldom available at these stores. Noviflora is perfectly acquainted with the different segments in the various countries and has a customised approach for every retail chain.