Fairies in the fall

Fairies in the fall

Retailer insights into selling fall-themed mini garden décor.

October 27, 2016
Conner Howard

Retailers around the country are noticing that, in many markets, fairy garden products sell well throughout the entire year. However, it doesn’t hurt to customize a fairy garden department to reflect each new season.

Introducing new signage and merchandising elements for an autumn setting can help set the tone for customers and give them inspiration for when they take their new miniature décor home with them.

At Sturtz & Copeland, an IGC in Boulder, Colo., fall merchandising is centered around creating a friendly environment for fairy gardening products first and foremost, then customizing the product displays with fall-themed touches and seasonal inventory.

“In general, I guess I like to just put together kind of a happy place for the fairies, and then you can add in your fall stuff and then be able to take it away so it’s seasonal just like your home,” says Heidi Mehok, floral designer and inventory buyer at Sturtz & Copeland.

Mehok says her store begins to shift into fall décor mode as early as August, taking advantage of the back-to-school sales season to freshen up the store and highlight fall-themed mini décor.

“Almost at the end of August, like as soon as school is starting, we start bringing in some more fall things and then, the closer we get to Halloween, we have tiny skeletons and little tombstones and fall leaves that you can decorate with,” Mehok says. “It’s my favorite time of year, so I have a lot of fun with it.”

Fall-centric fairy garden displays in a store can be enhanced further with some natural elements that can be obtained inexpensively, but go a long way toward establishing a visual style.

“I think just bringing in some natural elements [can work], things you find out in your yard, whether they’re pine cones or berries or naked branches,” Mehok says. “Have fun with it.”

In her experience, Mehok finds that although the fall months see lower foot traffic and less business than the spring, there’s still value to be had in the fall planting season. Customers buying mums and spring bulbs may also find themselves interested in fall-themed decorations they weren’t expecting to buy.

“There’s definitely the impulse buy: [people] came in for one thing and then they saw this adorable little fairy birdhouse that they have to have along with it,” Mehok says. “Then there’s the person who comes in with three children and they just have a heyday out there and buy their containers and all things fairy: the plants, the mosses and rocks.”

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