1-800-Flowers "Mother's Embrace" floral arrangement is the most popular Mother's Day buy

Irish American's flower power for Mother's Day!


1-800-Flowers "Mother's Embrace" floral arrangement is the most popular Mother's Day buy

For the flower industry, “Mother’s Day is the mother of them all,” says Irish American Jim McCann, CEO and founder of 1-800-Flowers.

It's bigger than Valentine's Day OR Christmas, and the company alone will sell well over 1 million Mother’s Day orders this year.

“I deliver each of them personally,” joked Irish-American McCann. “I get pretty tired.”

In some sense, McCann is like the Santa Claus of Mother’s Day.  “I look like him too,” he said. “We go to the same gym.”

More moms than sweethearts!

“This is the biggest floral week of the year for us. People think it’s Valentine’s day, but apparently there’s more moms than sweethearts,” McCann said.

“Some guys have a lot sweethearts, but they’d just give us too much trouble,” he joked. “We all have a bunch of mothers in our lives,” so there’s more people to buy for.

The top three days are Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas, and, even in a recession, "moms still matter a lot,” said McCann.

You're not going to skip Mother's Day

"If you have any kind of discretionary dollars, the one occasion you’re not going to skip out on is Mother’s Day.”

McCann, who was one of the first people in business to recognize the power of the Internet, will be announcing the winner of a special Mother's Day competition on Monday where one lucky mom will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean.

And this year McCann will celebrate the newest mom in his family: his daughter, Erin. Erin and her husband, Joe Lenehan, who met while running the Dublin Marathon, welcomed baby Abigail six months ago.

McCann visited “The Martha Stewart Show” on Thursday morning, and in the audience to cheer him on was his daughter and granddaughter.

Fan mail

“Martha asked me what moms I’m celebrating in my life, and that gave me the excuse to give reference to my daughter and granddaughter in the front row,” he said.

Now little Abigail is getting tons of fan mail. As of yesterday evening, McCann already received a few dozen emails telling him how adorable his granddaughter is.

But it’s back to work for the McCann family until the busiest floral week of the year comes to an end. This includes new mom Erin. “She’s got to work – we’ve got mothers to take care of!”

McCann said. “When you’re a florist your kids know where you’ll be on Mother’s Day,” though admittedly, he might let the new mom leave a little early this year.

McCann, who is third-generation Irish-American, traces his roots back to Counties Armagh and Limerick. He founded his superstore in 1976 with a single shop in Queens, and set up www.1800flowers.com in 1995, a company which now has revenues of about $1bn a year.


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