1-800-Flowers Acquires F&G’s Children’s Group

Westbury, NY–Multichannel flowers and gifts marketer 1-800-Flowers.com has purchased Foster & Gallagher’s (F&G) children’s group, which includes toys catalog HearthSong and doll and accessories book Magic Cabin Dolls. The catalogs, which target children ages 3-12, had more than $30 million in combined sales last year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 1-800-Flowers’ other catalogs include “country living products” title Plow & Hearth.

As part of the deal, the $437 million 1-800-Flowers.com acquires the brands’ 2 million customer names and its 200,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Vandalia, OH. Sydney R. Klevatt will remain president of the Children’s Group. At the same time, the children’s books fall under the oversight of Peter G. Rice Sr., president/CEO of Madison, VA-based Plow & Hearth.

“These are wonderful brands and quite synergistic,” Rice says. “The Plow & Hearth list was a top list for HearthSong and vice versa.”

As for future changes, “our aim is to leave the brands primarily as they are,” Rice says, though Plow & Hearth will likely increase the fall circulation of the titles, which had been flat in recent years, “in the low double digits.” Some Plow & Hearth product will be now be fulfilled from the Vandalia distribution center to alleviate some of the load at Plow & Hearth’s 300,000-sq.-ft. Madison facility, which Rice says was “bursting at the seams.”

HearthSong, founded in 1983, was acquired by F&G in 1991, and its Website launched in 1998. Magic Cabin Dolls was founded in 1990,and acquired by F&G in 1996, with its Website launching last year. As previously announced, Peoria, IL-based F&G did not consider its children’s group part of its core business and has been looking to divest itself of the titles for about a year. F&G will now focus on such horticultural catalog titles as Michigan Bulb, Stark Bros., and Breck’s. F&G is still looking to sell its Walter Drake gifts catalog.

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