Jim McCann likes to make things grow. Just as he built an international business from a single flower shop, McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, has helped expand the definition of retailing in just a decade.
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 by clicking a mouse on a personal computer, walking into one of its stores, or by dialing a 1-800-number.
McCann acquired the 1-800-FLOWERS number in 1986 after successfully building his own chain of 14 flower shops in the New York metropolitan area. 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. As his business grew, McCann pioneered its entry into other retail access channels going online in 1992 and opening a Web site in 1995. Today, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM has a well-known Web site (1-800-FLOWERS.COM), and maintains strategic online relationships with a number of online services, including America Online, Microsoft Network (MSN), and Yahoo.
McCann attributes much of his success to the training he received in his first job as a social worker. As an administrator at St. John's Home for Boys in Rockaway, New York, McCann recalls, he had to help underprivileged children learn how to overcome the scourge of poverty, drugs, and despair. His experiences greatly influence the open management style he uses today.
McCann's humanitarian efforts, his entrepreneurial acumen, and his retail vision have been widely recognized in the business community. Among his many honors are the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Merrill Lynch and Inc. Magazine, the Retailer of the Year award from Chain Store Executive Magazine, the Advocate of the Year award from Ernst & Young and the Long Island Association, and the Direct Marketer of the Year from Direct Marketing Day New York. He has also been named one of the Top Business 100 in Irish America Magazine.
Active in numerous business and community organizations, McCann is on the national boards of directors of Gateway 2000, OfficeMax, and Very Special Arts, as well as the boards of Hofstra University and Winthrop-University Hospital. He also supports programs for the developmentally disabled.
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