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Exclusive: 1-800-FLOWERS.COM CEO James McCann Discusses Valentine's Day 2014

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In an exclusive interview with Benzinga, CEO James McCann and VP of Investor Relations Joe Pititto of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM (NASDAQ: FLWS) discussed preparation for Valentine's Day.

One of the biggest changes the company is seeing this holiday is an increase in social and mobile interaction. 1-800-FLOWERS invested heavily in technology to build the strongest mobile platform possible. In fact, Google recognized the company as having the best multi-screen, multi-access ordering process in its most recent earnings call.

“Social continues to matter more and more and mobile is increasingly an important platform,” stated McCann. “So it reinforces the spend we made over the last four or five years, even through some tough years in the mobile space.

"It was tough when things were bad to be spending on mobile, but...we knew we were going to be here for the future, and we knew that social and mobile were going to be the two big influences on us.”

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Although the demographic is largely the same -- males sending gifts to wives or girlfriends -- several new products this year are gaining significant traction.

The first is chocolate covered strawberries from Fannie May.

“These are the super sized strawberries dipped in chocolates, nuts and caramels – they are really, really a big seller around this time of the year," McCann said. "They have the six and the 12-packs and they are flying out of here.”

The second is fruit bouquets. McCann continued, “The fruit bouquets we’ve introduced on a more limited basis because they can only be made and delivered locally by our BloomNet and franchise force. We have not been able to advertise that yet, since we don’t have enough of the country covered with the fulfillment capability.”

McCann said they will have to wait until later in 2014 before fully introducing the bouquets to customers.

After noting that stores offering the fruit bouquets have seen a surge in sales, Pititto commented, “We’re going after the available arrangements marketplace… It’s over 500 million, 550 million in worldwide sales and there is no individual player. Nobody is better suited to be that individual player than we are with our reach, strength of our brand, and relationships we have with the florists.”

Shares finished the week ending February 14 at $5.32. The company announced results of Q2 2014 at the end of January.

This is the first of a three-part series. Future editions will include comments on growth, seasonality and technology.

Posted-In: James McCannLong Ideas News Short Ideas Small Cap Analysis Retail Sales Trading Ideas Interview Best of Benzinga

 

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