In Full Bloom
How does their garden grow? A jewelry store doubles as a florist
When it comes to one-stop gift shopping, B. Sanfield is one step ahead
of Hallmark. The 13,000-square-foot store in Rockford, IL, is a full-service
florist and jeweler, doing as much business in fresh roses as it does in
diamond jewelry. It also offers Lenox china, crystal and brass, African
crafts, handmade Mexican pottery and wine.
The store is successful because of its convenience and large selection.
But it shrugs off a "superstore" image with upscale merchandise
and by advertising in affluent magazines. A free-standing building on a
busy street corner, the store has 125 parking spaces and hires off-duty
police officers to direct traffic during major holidays. The selection runs
the gamut from branded Ideal Cut and D-flawless diamonds, $80 Majestic brand
roses and Dom Perignon to $99 diamond studs, $5 bottles of wine and $3 carnation
bouquets. People can get in, buy what they need and get out faster than
in a shopping mall, says co-owner Lee Hartsfield.
The store spends about $12,000 a week on advertising, mostly on radio
and TV in Rockford, where advertising on the four TV networks is affordable
compared with nearby Chicago. Jewelry and flowers are featured in separate
spots, though people don't always connect them. "We're perplexed when
people buy their wedding flowers from us but never think of us for the engagement
rings," Hartsfield says.
B. Sanfield does as much business in the week before Valentine's Day
as in any of the summer months. It runs ads and price promotions to increase
traffic and adds its own mischievous gifts. Last year the store packaged
promotional diamond necklaces with stuffed animals called "Red Hot
Lovers." The year before that, the red-hot item was red lingerie folded
like rosebuds on plastic stems.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.