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1-800-Flowers.com, Inc.
Traded asNASDAQFLWS (Class A)
Russell 2000 Component
FounderJames McCann[1]
HeadquartersCarle Place, New York, United States[2]
Key people
James McCann (Chairman)
Chris McCann (CEO)
ProductsFlowers, gift baskets, plants, gourmet food, collectibles
SubsidiariesHarry & David

1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. is a floral and gourmet foods gift retailer and distribution company in the United States. It was one of the first retailers to use a 24 x 7 toll-free telephone number, then the Internet, and then conversational commerce via chat/chatbots for direct sales to consumers[citation needed].


Founding and early years[edit]

The concept of using the word "flowers" within a Phoneword was originated by William Alexander in the early 1980s. The phone number, 1-800-356-9377, had been randomly assigned to a trucking brokerage in Wisconsin owned by Curtis Jahn and was used for that company until 1981. In an agreement with Jahn that would later be sharply contested, Granville Semmes and David Snow formed a Louisiana corporation that began to use that number to sell flowers in Louisiana, starting in 1982.[3] The use of the number would trigger a series of lawsuits.[3] Their business struggled and that company was dissolved, with its assets going to investors James Poage and John Davis of Texas. The new corporation struggled financially as well.[3] Its assets were acquired in 1986 by Jim McCann, an owner of several flower shops in the New York City area since 1976, under whom the business saw success and growth.[1]


In the early 1990s, two events helped bring 1-800-Flowers to national prominence. First, AT&T created an advertising campaign featuring the company that aired repeatedly during the 1992 Summer Olympics.[1] Then, at the time of the first Persian Gulf War, many advertisers were pulling out of CNN, unaware that CNN's war coverage would draw additional viewers. 1-800-Flowers agreed to remain as an advertiser at founder Ted Turner's request.[1]

The company was among the first retailers to partner with CompuServe and AOL, in 1992 and 1994 respectively. On September 1, 1995, the company registered the 1800flowers.com domain name.[4] In 1999, the company went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol FLWS and changed its name to 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, to match its website address.


The company has merged with or acquired a number of other gift and retailing companies. In September 2007, the company announced a partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to produce a line of floral products inspired by Martha Stewart.[5]

According to the Consumerist in 2008, customers have reported unknowingly being subscribed to LiveWell after receiving rebate checks from 1-800-flowers.[6]

It had 4,000 employees as of 2008, with a market cap of $119 million USD.[7]

In 2009, revenue was US$714 million.[8] Operating income wasUS$-72.2 million,[8] net income was US$-98.4 million,[8] assets were valued at US$286 million,[9] and equity was at US$134 million.[9]

In March 2017, Ferrero SpA bought Fannie May and Harry London from 1-800-Flowers.com for $115 million.[10]

Conversational commerce[edit]

The company was an early example (2016) of conversational commerce (e-commerce via chat) on Facebook Messenger an IBM Watson artificial intelligence-powered chatbot/virtual assistant. The virtual assistant had previously been implemented on the Web.[11]


  • May 2006, 1-800-Flowers acquired several Alpine Confections Inc. brands including Fannie May Confections, Fannie Farmer and Harry London Candies ($85 million).[12]
  • April 1, 2008, 1-800-Flowers purchased DesignPac Gifts LLC ($33.4 million USD).[13]
  • July 21, 2008, 1-800-Flowers purchased Napco Marketing Corporation ($9.4 million USD).[14]
  • August 1, 2011, the company acquired Flowerama ($4.3 million USD).[15]

Companies owned[edit]

  • 1-800-Baskets.com - online retailer of gift baskets
  • BloomNet - international floral wire service
  • Cheryl's - multi-channel company based in Westerville, OH, selling gourmet cookies
  • DesignPac Gifts LLC - designer and maker of gourmet gift baskets
  • Digital Leadership Program - executive training program
  • Florists.com - flower delivery via local florists
  • FruitBouquets.com - online retailer of fruit bouquets
  • Harry & David - gourmet fruit and food gifts omni-channel retailer
  • Napco Marketing Corporation - wholesale distributor of floral and plant containers and related supplies for the florist and mass market channels
  • Personalization Universe- personalized and keepsake gifts
  • The Popcorn Factory - catalog retailer of popcorn tins and snacks based in Lake Forest, Illinois
  • Stock Yards - online retailer of steak, chops, and other meats and seafood

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d McCann, Jim; Olsen, Particia R. (March 16, 2008). "Flowers, via Social Work". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Daysi Calavia-Robertson (August 22, 2018). "1-800-Flowers.com launches Goodsey.com, an e-commerce site". Newsday. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c CURTIS P. JAHN and CAPITOL WAREHOUSING CORPORATION, Plaintiffs, v. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, INC., FRESH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES, INC. and 800-FLOWERS, INC. (District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin July 23, 2001). Text
  4. ^ "WHOIS page". Network Solutions. 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  5. ^ "1-800-Flowers.com, Martha Stewart Living in tie-up". Reuters. 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  6. ^ "1800flowers Dupes You Into Signing Up For "LiveWell" For $11.99 Per Month". The Consumerist. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  7. ^ "Company Profile for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc (FLWS)". Retrieved 2008-10-17.
  8. ^ a b c 1-800 Flowers.com (FLWS) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  9. ^ a b 1-800 Flowers.com (FLWS) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  10. ^ Channick, Robert (March 17, 2017). "Italian maker of Nutella buys Fannie May". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Grace Caffyn (February 20, 2017). "What 1-800 Flowers has learned from its Watson-powered concierge". Digiday. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "Sweet success: Fannie May back after bankruptcy". Associated Press. November 28, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2018 – via Daily Herald.
  13. ^ "DesignPac Gifts acquired by 1-800-FLOWERS". Crunchbase. 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  14. ^ "Napco Marketing acquired by 1-800-FLOWERS". Crunchbase. 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  15. ^ "Flowerama Of America acquired by 1-800-FLOWERS". Crunchbase. 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2018.

External links[edit]