How Albertsons Is Redefining Flower Power

Gina Acosta
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Albertsons is launching special Debi Lilly Design Extending Smiles bouquets to help people in need.

Albertsons Cos. is launching an innovative floral program to boost sales in an already growing category in grocery.

The retailer is adding a philanthropic component to its Debi Lilly Design line of floral and home décor. Now, when customers purchase one of the grocer's new Debi Lilly Design Extending Smiles floral designs at participating stores, $1 of the proceeds will be used to provide a pair of shoes, clean water or food to someone in need.

“We’re excited to share the joy and beauty of flowers in a way that can have a meaningful and incredible effect on people’s lives," said Chad Coester, SVP of Albertsons Cos. own brands. "That’s what we mean by Extending Smiles. The smile doesn’t end when you receive the flowers as a gift or use them to decorate a space. The benefit goes far beyond."

The new Albertsons own-brand floral program comes at a time when floral sales in retail are booming, up 3.9% in the past year, with sales of $5.2 billion, according to Chicago-based IRI. Flower arrangements specifically were up 13% this year. 

Each new Albertsons bouquet will include a tag that identifies the category for which the donation will be used: water, food or shoes. The tag also has two codes to offer even greater detail: A QR code leads to the Extending Smiles website, providing a full perspective of the program, including a video detailing the global crisis of water-related diseases and hunger, while a unique alphanumeric code can be input on the website to pinpoint the specific communities and lives that will be touched. For example, a code could reveal, “Your bouquet purchase will go toward water treatment equipment for different schools in Flint, Mich.”

In addition to supporting the organization listed on each tag, Extending Smiles bouquets also support sustainable farming practices. The designs are certified by the New York-based Rainforest Alliance, which verifies that each flower and element of the bouquet was farmed in a way that conserves biodiversity and natural resources, and improves the livelihoods of growers and farm workers.

The Extending Smiles bouquets, which will be available year-round, are part of the Albertsons own-brand Debi Lilly Design collection of arrangements, vases, candles and other home décor items found exclusively in the floral department at Albertsons stores.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos., which operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as meal-kit company Plated, is No. 3 on PG’s Super 50 list. 

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