The weekend before Valentine’s Day is a busy one for retailers and Pilot, too. One of the world’s largest online floral and gift merchants is turning to Pilot again this year for two nationwide Valentine’s Day distributions.
The first undertaking involves coordinating and delivering 444 shipments totaling more than 11,000 roses to major department stores as part of a fragrance promotion. Six Pilot locations—Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Newark—will receive the roses just a couple days before delivery to ensure they are as fresh as possible. From there, the flowers will be distributed regionally to reach destinations within one or two days. In order to minimize splashing, the roses are packed in a bucket with one inch of water and then a plastic-lined box. “Most Valentine’s Day purchases occur either on the holiday or the day prior,” says Shannon Donahue, account executive, who is based in Chicago and is managing the project for Pilot. “In this case, timing and handling are critical considering the delicate nature of the product. This fits our business model and we do it well.”
Pilot will also send more than 2,000 cases (with 10 dozen flowers each) of mixed flowers and roses to 105 Midwest-based home improvement stores. Pilot Chicago will sort, tag and move the flowers—which are shipped in the same manner as described above—just one day before they are transported to chain stores in Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi , Missouri and Ohio. “It’s especially crucial on delivery day to be able to provide status updates and reports, and is one factor that has helped keep this relationship growing,” says Shannon.