Selling more than 7 million roses on Valentine's Day is no walk in the park, said Christopher McCann, president of 1-800-Flowers.com (FLWS) .
"The planning starts February 15th for the following year," said McCann. "We work with our growers all around the world to make sure we are getting the best quality product. And as we've grown over the years, we do that by focusing on the customer experience."
McCann said online traffic and call volume at the flower and gift purveyor can rise up to tenfold during peak times like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. In order to make sure customer deliveries arrive on time, McCann said his system is stress-tested regularly.
Furthermore, he said the company does its best to track uncontrollable variables like the weather.
"At a time like this, we are constantly watching the weather and making adjustments based on weather patterns around the country," said McCann. "People think the flower business must be fun. Well it is, but it's also very complicated."
Despite its telephone and retail commerce roots, McCann said the company gets about 90% of its business online now. He added that mobile ordering has skyrocketed in recent years as smartphones get smarter.
1-800-Flowers.com reported net income of 92 cents per share when it recently posted its fiscal second quarter earnings results, beating the Wall Street analyst consensus estimate of 88 cents per share. The company posted revenue of $548.4 million in the period, missing the Street's forecast of $566.7 million. Shares of the company were trading at $7.28 at the end of 2015. The stock closed at $7.09 on Monday.
McCann said the company's non-flower performance was a key factor in its Q2 results. The company has grown its gourmet food and gift basket divisions in recent years by acquiring Harry & David fruits, Fannie May chocolates and Cheryl's cookies.
"The move into gourmet foods makes us a year-round business," said McCann. "While Valentine's Day is very important, it only makes up less than 5% of our annual sales now. And the food business has allowed us to double the size of our business over the past five years and we are looking to double it again."