Starting next Sunday, March 26, high-end department store Macy’s flagship Herald Square location in New York City will begin hosting its Annual Flower Show. The event, which has been running for almost five decades, features themed gardens that showcase thousands of live flowers, plants, and trees from all over the world and will run through Monday, April 10 of this year.
For this year’s show, Macy’s has partnered with European multinational luxury fashion house DIOR to provide a free event that is open to the public and will offer visitors an opportunity to engage in a unique multi-sensory experience. The event provides consumers with an insightful look into the intersection of fragrance and florals, and as explained by Macy’s Senior Vice President of Beauty, Julie Walsh, will “elevate the shopping experience by expanding fragrances beyond the bottle.”
Further, she added, “the natural synergy between florals and fragrance during the Macy’s Flower Show offers the opportunity for our team to explore new creative channels to engage consumers that go beyond the transactional and into fragrance discovery and experience.”
CosmeticsDesign spoke with Walsh to learn more about how this hands-on occasion comes to life, the mission behind the show, and the impact an in-person experience can have on a consumer’s interaction with fragrance products like those produced by event partner DIOR. Her insights into the Macy’s Annual Flower Show’s design and execution are crucial to understanding how an interactive event can be essential in furthering the customer experience.
The intersection of florals and fragrance
“What makes the Macy’s Flower Show enticing to cosmetics and fragrance partners is that the interactivity and immersive nature of the show provides brands with the unique opportunity to showcase their product in a way that encourages discovery and experiences,” Walsh shared. Shopping for fragrance products has always been a subjective opportunity for consumer purchasing decisions. An in-person event like the Annual Flower show allows fragrance manufacturers like DIOR to “connect with customers via an entirely new entertainment focused medium.”
NIQ’s 2023 State of the Beauty Industry Report reported that “the fragrance category was the clear winner of 2022, with its explosive 19% growth driven roughly equally by price increases and rising consumer demand.” As consumers return to in-store shopping experiences in droves following the restrictions imposed by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events like the Annual Flower Show are crucial to connecting with consumers in this essential product category.
Following these strong growth indicators, “beauty and fragrance are incredibly strong categories for Macy’s,” said Walsh. Therefore, the Annual Flower Show is an opportunity to showcase how attuned the retailer is to evolving consumer demand. To do so, Walsh shared, “we continue to be focused on strengthening our product assortment, adding new brands that are trendy and reflect the evolving needs of the customer, while also offering a robust selection of core products.”
In line with Macy’s commitment to providing a satisfactory in-person shopping experience for the consumer, “our Beauty Advisors offer best-in-class service to help customers find their perfect fragrance, whether it’s for a special occasion, everyday use, or anything in between.”
Beauty brand partnership with DIOR
“Macy’s has a long-standing relationship with DIOR,” Walsh explained, “having launched many of their signature and most popular fragrances.” The mutually beneficial partnership is not unique to this year’s show, as the “2022 show featured a footprint from DIOR alongside a mix of other fragrance brands.” Therefore, she added, “we saw the opportunity to expand upon that collaboration in this year’s show.”
The opportunity for consumers to integrate themselves into a sensory experience is invaluable when converting a purchase, and the pairing has historically been successful for several reasons. As Walsh explained, “through this partnership, our team worked with DIOR to showcase how their ingredients, cultivation and sustainability processes bring their signature fragrances to life, from seed to bottle. We then paired this experience with our show creative to build an engaging and unique experience for DIOR.”
The show also leaves a lasting impression on attendees due in no small part to the fact that “Macy’s Flower Show has a direct correlation to Fragrance,” Walsh stated. For example, “floral fragrances are customer favorites, and Macy’s has a wide assortment of offerings for the customer to choose from,” including a wide selection of options by DIOR.
Ultimately, she concluded, “it’s a case of ultimate synergy. Macy’s Flower Show offers visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy florals from all over the world blooming in unison, in a spectacular showcase on the main floor of our flagship store, with fragrance counters at the ready to take home that floral magic with a favorite scent from one of our valued Fragrance partners,” including DIOR.
As an added nod to another booming consumer trend in the cosmetics and personal beauty care product industries, the Annual Flower Show is also partially environmentally sustainable. Following the show’s conclusion, and “as part of the company’s commitment to create a more sustainable future through its social purpose platform Mission Every One, a variety of plants and trees used in the show will be donated to the brand’s long-time nonprofit partner, Henry Street Settlement,” Walsh explained.