Feasel’s Elves Deliver Trees, Win Generations of Customers

From: IGC Retailer, November/December, 2013

 
Feasel’s Elves Deliver Trees, Win Generations of Customers
Feasel’s Home & garden center, Findlay, OH

Greg Feasel, Owner of Feasel’s Home & Garden Center, says he feels like Ed McMahon when he rings customers’ doorbells, delivering their Christmas trees with his staff of elves. When they open their doors, though, instead of a giant sweepstakes check, they get a giant Christmas elf - 6 feet 2 inches, 260 pounds, of holiday cheer. “Their mouths drop, then they laugh,” he says. “They get a real kick out of it.”

Feasel, who bought the 30-year-old garden center four years ago, was looking for a way to distinguish his store from the boxes and make a fresh name in the community. Even though the previous owners told him there was no money in selling cut trees, Feasel, who loves the holidays, decided to bring them in anyway. “Then I thought, if I’m not making money, I’m at least going to get some publicity out of this.”

And publicity, he’s received. The novelty of Feasel’s Elves gets people talking about the garden center, including a local TV news station, which aired footage of the dressed-up delivery service in action. The elves also build customer loyalty in the community. “It’s a good way of creating memories for the kids,” Feasel says.

Each tree from Feasel’s comes with a Certificate of Adoption and a small silver bell, like the one in the holiday movie The Polar Express, tied to an inside branch. When the tree is unwrapped, the bell jingles merrily. Adding even more value to the service, the elves are available to set up the Christmas tree inside the customer’s house and pose for pictures. When they’re given tips, they donate the money to Toys for Tots.

The goodwill and cheer generated by the elves lifts everyone’s spirits at Feasel’s. “During Christmas, we need to have fun with it because there are a lot of stresses,” Feasel says. “It’s fun seeing the kids get excited.”

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