Wasatch Floral Corp. has acquired Brown Floral and Pearson Floral in a move that will make Wasatch one of the largest florists in the Salt Lake market.

A subsidiary of Wasatch Land and Development Inc., which also owns and operates the cemetery and funeral home concern of Wasatch Lawn and Mortuary, Wasatch Floral is a 3-year-old company.Under terms of the acquisition, Brown Floral will retain its 74-year-old name at its locations in Holladay and Bountiful, while Pearson Floral will close its 33rd South shop and be merged into the Wasatch Floral operation on Highland Drive.

Wasatch Floral general manager Daniel Day said construction on a new store will begin this summer, housing the merged company, and the Brown Floral shops will undergo extensive remodeling.

"Our new store will give us 3,500 square feet of retail space with additional space for warehousing and general offices," Day said.

The acquisition will make Wasatch Floral one of the largest volume florists in the Salt Lake market, he said, with estimated annual sales between $1.5 million to $2 million.

Day said the acquisition of floral shops by funeral operators is a common trend throughout the industry. But Wasatch Floral wants to disassociate itself from the funeral operation as much as possible to attract all types of customers.

"We don't want to be only known as a shop for sympathy flowers," he said.

A statement announcing the purchase said Wasatch plans to sponsor design seminars and classes at the Brown Floral location in Holladay.