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1 800 flowers plans no changes at Flowerama
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1 800 flowers plans no changes at Flowerama

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The new owner of Flowerama, a Waterloo-based floral retailer with 100 locations in 28 states, is not planning any changes for the floral chain.

Joe Pititto, vice president of corporate communications and investor relations at 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., on Wednesday said customers and employees of Flowerama should not see any change in the way the business operates.
“ All of the Waterloo operations and employees are staying there,” Pititto said. “The Waterloo operations will ultimately be overseen by our franchise department here in New York.

“ Not a lot of change is expected in the Flowerama organization. We’re pleased and excited to have Flowerama and its franchise organization as a part of 1-800-Flower.com.”
1-800-Flowers.com, which employs more than 2,200 people, is a publicly traded company based in Carle Place, N.Y. Founded in 1976 by James McCann, the company offers its products online over the Internet and through two company-owned and operated retail floral stores, and franchised stores.

McCann is chairman and chief executive officer of 1-800-Flowers.com and his brother, Chris McCann, is president of the company.

Flowerama operates stores in southeast and northwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Ames, Ankeny, Cedar Falls, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Waterloo and Windsor Heights.

Flowerama was founded in 1952 as Frink’s Green House Inc. by Maurice and Herbert Frink, sons of a Waterloo florist. Their first attempt at wholesale growing came with the development of a 50,000-square-foot greenhouse operation in Cedar Falls.

The Frinks eventually became suppliers for more than 250 retail outlets primarily in Iowa, and in several other Midwest states.

After many years of servicing the rather unpredictable retail floral shops and supermarket chains, it became increasingly obvious that in order to develop stable consistently dependable outlets, a fresh, new marketing approach was needed.
In 1967 the Flowerama Mobile Merchandiser began operating with a portable trailer that opened to a 24-foot by 32-foot sales and display area. The units were towed to high traffic sites located in the parking lots of large supermarkets and shopping centers.
In 1970 a decision was made to open a number of company-owned stores in Iowa and Minnesota in regional shopping malls. Continued increasing rents and limitation on square footage prompted Flowerama to re-evaluate further expansion in regional mall shopping centers.
The opening of Flowerama’s first freestanding floral center in 1986 marked the beginning of the transition from mall locations to freestanding stores.

Pititto said Maurice and Herbert Frink are retiring and decided to sell the business to 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., which bills itself as the world’s largest florist and gift shop. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
In addition to its consumer floral business, 1-800-FLowers.com also BloomNet Wire Service and Gourmet Food and Gift Baskets. The company reported a third-quarter net loss of $2.7 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with a net loss $7.3 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same period of fiscal 2010.

Revenues were $162.8 million for the third quarter that ended March 27, compared with revenues of $155.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010.

George C. Ford

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