Galleria’s revival of Bachman’s spring flower show—a downtown Minneapolis tradition for more than 50 years—was such a success this past spring that they plan to do it again, and again. The Edina shopping center and Bachman’s floral company announced a three-year agreement to keep the event going.
Galleria will host the free, 15-day “floral experience” through 2021,the center’s general manager Wendy Eisenberg says. They have an eye toward making it an annual tradition beyond then.
“This was an important, iconic event that was in the Twin Cities,” says Eisenberg, “and the fact that we’ve been able to bring it back and resurrect it for Galleria and for the community, we feel that it’s a gift.”
The Bachman’s-driven flower event was created with Dayton’s in the 1960s, and continued on even as the department store transitioned to Marshall Field’s and then Macy’s until the Nicollet Mall store closed. The final downtown flower show took place in 2016.
Eisenberg and Dale Bachman, chairman of the board and fourth generation member of the family-owned garden business, see the Galleria partnership as a new era.
For one, instead of arranging the flowers in a controlled auditorium, the Galleria display runs from one end of the shopping center to the other – installed in the center’s publics spaces throughout the first level. Eiseneberg thinks that layout, and the fact that it’s timed in a “sweet spot” at the end of winter but before Minnesota fully warms up, creates the appeal.
“Just to walk into a space and to see so many beautiful colors – and it’s not just a visual thing, it’s the fragrances… you experience it through the aromas and visual beauty of the place,” says Eisenberg. “It’s extremely well-done, tasteful, interesting, it really changes your state of mind at that time of year.”
The Bachman’s flower show was known for bringing around 65,000 people to downtown Minneapolis in its former life. Eisenberg didn’t offer an exact figure of how many came to the Galleria debut – which was themed “Spring is in the Air” – but she says the uptick in traffic during a typically slow month was significant.
“We had traffic and guests in the property equal to what we would have during the Christmas season, which is unheard of during that time of year – and we even did that with two snow days,” she says.
Galleria retailers are already getting into the spirit, Eisenberg says, thinking about how they can tie their produce assortment or store space to the floral experience. Meanwhile, Bachman’s is still working on the 2019 flower show theme. “Favorite spring flowers from this year will be incorporated again next year,” company president Susan Bachman West said in a statement.
Galleria’s floral experience is set to kick off March 24.