Repurposing Live Holiday Decorations

November 25, 2015

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Most people agree that live decorations during the holidays add nostalgic character to the home, but some consumers, concerned about the mess and waste of live decorations, steer clear of lawn and garden departments during the holidays. Retailers can help change customers’ minds by showing people how to get more use out of their live decor after it has served its holiday purpose. By offering post-holiday workshops in which customers can learn how to repurpose spent items, retailers can benefit from increased live decor sales and the additional components for these projects as well as repurpose unsold live decor items to save on disposal fees.

Dried gourds, corn stalks, and straw bales are popular fall decorations. While straw is generally limited to use for mulch, compost, or animal bedding after it has been used for decorative purposes, gourds and corn stalks can be reused. Workshops in gourd birdhouses give the opportunity to sell paints, shellacs, and hangers, and a display of squirrel feeders can showcase how to use the dried ears of corn. Corn stalks can be used in insect houses or as a great how-to project for kids, and retailers can either offer an available kit, or design one that can utilize scrap lumber that may be laying around the store or lumber yard (old pallets would be great for this, too). And much like the birdhouse gourds, an insect house workshop would give the opportunity for retailers to sell additional items and keep parents in the store longer to browse.

Christmas decorations can also be repurposed. Untreated wreaths and pinecones make excellent natural birdfeeders. After removing any non-edible decor from the wreath, bird-friendly foods such as orange slices, dried fruits, suet, and birdseed can be added and the wreath placed in a tree or on a shepherd’s hook. Rolling pinecones in high-energy suet followed by a coating of seed also makes great feeders to hang. By showcasing these ideas, retailers can increase sales of bird-related goods such as variety suet and birdseed, and may create additional sales of standard birdfeeders, birdbaths and bath heaters, and birdhouses.

Retailers may also consider offering a tree-mulching service after the holidays. Customers can conveniently drop off trees and wreaths to be shredded. Coordinate with local gardening clubs to plan the event or find an outlet for the mulch and earn good tidings from the community.

The DIY trend of reusing and repurposing materials does not necessarily mean lower sales for the home improvement retailer. Creative ways to showcase this trend may in fact help fuel additional sales and may bring in new customers who are DIY beginners.

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