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Harry & David’s revenue growth boosts 1-800-Flowers

Fiscal third quarters have always been a stretch for Harry & David, even after its absorption by 1-800-Flowers.com.

Nonetheless, the Medford-based gourmet food and gift unit of the Long Island, New York, floral and gift retailer helped power 15.5 percent revenue growth in the gourmet foods and gift baskets part of the company.

Overall, adjusting for the May 2017 sale of Fannie May Confection Brands, 1-800-Flowers grew revenue 2.1 percent to $238.5 million for the quarter that ended April 1, up from $233.7 a year earlier. The company narrowed its quarterly losses to $8.5 million for the period, compared with $11.1 million in 2017. Through the first nine months of fiscal 2018, 1-800-Flowers has netted just over $49 million, up 36 percent from $36 million a year ago.

CEO Chris McCann said the legacy 1-800-Flowers.com brand improved its market share with revenue rising nearly 9 percent for the quarter and more than 10 percent during the Valentine holiday.

For the quarter, Harry & David’s e-commerce revenue increased more than 15 percent, reflecting double-digit growth in new customers as well as steady growth from its existing customer base.

Merchandising and marketing teams created product collections and targeted marketing campaigns propelling double-digit growth for such occasions as birthday, sympathy, new baby and convalescence.

During the quarter, the Medford unit expanded product innovation, adding Harry & David Gourmet collection of fruit and cheese platters, wine and prepared meals that appeals to a younger demographic for both gifting and entertaining.

In conjunction with Southern Living magazine, Harry & David developed Southern-inspired, specialty food-gift sets as well as trending “foodie” content and recipes.

Borrowing exclusive recipes from Carolyn Robb, former executive chef to the British royal family, Harry & David launched a licensed baked gifts collection known as The Royal Touch.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or gstiles@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.