Feb 6, 2019
Researchers to Examine Consumer Purchasing HabitsBy Tim Hodson

In a new study currently being conducted by the American Floral Endowment and the Produce Marketing Association, funded through the Floral Marketing Research Fund, researchers are trying to determine which attributes are truly important to consumers and drive their purchase behavior of flowers and plants.

Using the latest eye-tracking technology, Texas A&M’s Charlie Hall and Marco Palma will conduct the experiment, which will include hundreds of consumers, at the Human Behavior Laboratory.

The lab consists of 16 seated eye-tracking stations, and a walking, retail or supermarket-style station.

“In the lab, we can accurately collect biometric data, including eye tracking, facial expression analysis (reading emotions), neural signals (electroencephalography), galvanic skin response (GSR) and heart and respiration rates,” Hall says.

The study aims to explore and answer questions such as:

  • Do consumers prefer a flower arrangement because of its form or because of the varieties of flower(s) that are in it and how much do these characteristics matter?
  • When it comes to plants and flowers, which visual elements are noticed first and longest by consumers?
  • Can some varieties be substituted without impacting consumer preference?
  • What is the optimal mix of varieties in an arrangement or bouquet?
  • Do consumers prefer multi-colored floral arrangements over single-colored arrangements and to what degree does it impact their purchasing decision?
  • Do consumers prefer mono-species over mixed-species bouquets?

Stay tuned, the results from the comprehensive study will be made available this fall.

— Tim


Lowe’s Hiring Event Looks to Add 50,000 Associates

On Feb. 13, Lowe’s will host its second annual National Hiring Day to hire more than 50,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal associates across its more than 1,700 U.S. stores. Candidates can apply in-person at Lowe’s stores nationwide. They will have the opportunity to meet hiring managers, speak with associates and some may receive on-the-spot offers. In-store seasonal positions, which typically support stores between February and September, include cashiers, lawn and garden associates, stockers and loaders. Lowe’s seasonal associates benefit from competitive pay and a 10 percent employee discount.

Walmart Revamps Employee Attendance Policy

Walmart has revamped its attendance policy with the goal of delivering a more consistent experience for customers and rewarding its most dependable associates. The paid time off program is also being refined to ensure associates are supported when unexpected things happen, and they can’t make it to work. The changes are based on feedback from employees who wanted more flexibility, while also being rewarded for consistently showing up to work and serving customers. Under the new policy, eligible hourly employees can earn an additional 25 percent on the quarterly cash bonuses they currently receive based on store performance.

NFL, Lowe’s Team Up

Prior to Super Bowl LIII, the National Football League announced that Lowe’s is now the “Official Home Improvement Retail Sponsor of the NFL.” The exclusive, multi-year sponsorship grants Lowe’s the ability to market on a national and local level throughout the year, including at key NFL events such as the Super Bowl, NFL Draft, NFL Combine and other related events. As part of the sponsorship, Lowe’s will be able to provide unique NFL experiences for customers and associates both during the regular season and off-season, and will become the presenting sponsor of Super Bowl Experience at Super Bowl LIV in 2020.

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.
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