Founder and CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS
Jim McCann is a highly successful entrepreneur whose vision and energy have helped grow 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, the company he founded in 1976, into the world’s leading florist and gift company. McCann’s focus on customer relationships and his willingness to embrace new technologies and business channels helped change the way flowers and other gifts are marketed for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special occasions.
McCann recognized early on the enormous potential in providing on-the-go consumers with the ability to express themselves and connect with the important people in their lives through top quality floral gifts combined with exemplary, personal service. McCann has also consistently managed to stay ahead of the curve in multi-channel retailing by embracing new technologies, such as 800 phone numbers and the Internet, often long before other retailers recognized the opportunities that these developments would provide both for business and consumers.
In addition to being the first company to have its 800-telephone number as its name – a marketing insight that helped solidify the brand in consumer’s minds – McCann was a pioneer in online retailing – seizing the enormous reach of the Internet as early as 1991. Utilizing thorough knowledge of his customer base and market, McCann focused on expanding brand name awareness and instilling a sense of trust and convenience.
McCann’s strategy for growth includes an effective combination of birthing new businesses and making acquisitions of businesses and brands that resonate with customers as great sources for exceptional gifts. One such new business is the BloomNet® wire service which provides retail florists with diverse resources such as website hosting, a comprehensive technology platform for retail store management and the industry’s first and only online digital floral directory. On the acquisition front, McCann has expanded his company’s gift offerings, and become a leading player in the Gourmet Food and Gift Baskets business, by acquiring such iconic brands as: Fannie May®, makers of gourmet chocolate and other confections; Cheryl&Co.®, creators of individually-wrapped fresh baked cookies, brownies and cakes; and The Popcorn Factory®, which offers gourmet popcorn and other snacks in exclusively designed collectible tins.
McCann attributes much of his success to the lessons he learned in his first career, in the social services. At St. John’s Home for Boys in Rockaway, New York, McCann recalls, he helped underprivileged youths learn how to overcome the many challenges of their environment. His experiences greatly influenced his management style and prepared him to lead 1-800-FLOWERS.COM toward becoming one of the world’s most successful multi-channel retailers.
McCann is a published author and award winning public speaker as well as a frequent guest on radio and television programs nationwide. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, McCann is a member of the Board of Directors of Willis Group Holdings Limited and Gruppo Lottomatica.