Jim McCann likes to make things grow. Just as he built an international business, with nearly $1 billion in sales, from a single Manhattan flower shop, McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS has helped expand the definition of retailing while positioning his company as one of the world’s leading gift retailers.
Recognizing the enormous potential in providing on-the-go consumers with quality gift-giving opportunities, McCann pushed traditional boundaries to create not just one, but several access channels. Today, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM customers can send a wide variety of floral products and other thoughtful gifts around the block or around the world with the click of a mouse, walking into one of its stores, or by dialing a 1-800-number. As his business grew, McCann pioneered its entry into other retail access channels — going online in 1991 and becoming the first merchant of any kind on AOL in 1994.
McCann attributes much of his success to the training he received in his first job — in the social services. At St. John’s Home for Boys in Rockaway, New York, McCann recalls, he had to help underprivileged young men learn how to overcome the scourge of poverty, drugs and despair. His experiences greatly influenced his management style.
Using a thorough understanding of his customer base and market, he focused on creating a reliable brand name and instilling a sense of trust and convenience in an industry that had previously had no leader.
McCann is the author of three books — A Year Full of Flowers, Stop and Sell the Roses and Celebrations: A Joyous Guide to Holidays from Past to Present.