Selling is an art. Unfortunately, not every business is good at presenting their merchandise in an way that will attract buyers. Take your local florist. Who doesn’t get drawn to an attractive display of flowers? Flowers are often an impulse purchase – so a great sidewalk display can play an outsized role in driving retail sales. Not to mention the fact that flowers are a great way to adorn a sidewalk. And what commercial district manager doesn’t want an attractive sidewalk?

Below are two images – one is a florist on a street that gets over 25,000 vehicles passing every day. Yet the business owner is struggling to make ends meet. The other display is from a flower shop that is doing fairly well – despite being on a less busy street. So, which one is which? Did the drawn gate and fake flowers arranged in underwhelming bouquets give it away? Why would a busy commuter stop by the store on the left at all? Despite the fact that there are beautiful flowers displayed inside the store – the display does little to suggest that their is anything of interest inside the store. A passing driver could easily go by this florist for years without noticing it. In fact, while I was working in this district I interviewed a local public official who had an office up the street didn’t even know this store was there. Not good.

If your commercial district has a flower shop, take the time to talk to the owner and work with them to make sure they are placing merchandise on the sidewalk. Sometimes the concern is that merchandise will ‘walk away’. If that is the case, you can offer to help with the purchase of planters that can be filled with flowers (instead of easily lifted bouquets). These planters may need to be brought inside in the evening by a handcart – but together with a nice sandwich sign announcing some sort of promotion – an improved display could really help drive retail sales and improve district aesthetics at the same time. What a nice way to kill two birds with one stone…