1-800-Flowers Selling Home, Gifts Titles

MULTITITLE MAILER 1-800-FLOWERS.COM will stick to floral and food gifts moving forward. The company has classified its home and children’s gifts business segment as a discontinued operation.

The company has actually been exploring “strategic options” for the home and gifts business for more than two years. It now aims to sell those category titles, which include Plow & Hearth, HearthSong, Magic Cabin, Wind and Weather and Problem Solvers.

1-800-Flowers.com CEO Jim McCann said in a statement the company believes focusing on its floral and gourmet foods and gift baskets business will “better leverage our business platform and offer the greatest opportunity for top- and bottom-line growth in the years ahead.” But he said that the home and children’s gifts segment’s day-to-day business activities will remain unchanged while it works toward a sale.

Considering how the economy has deteriorated since 2007, it may be hard to sell those books today, says Lee Helman, managing director for investment firm Financo, “unless a strategic gets brave and decides to add onto its own platform and transform the profitability.”

The company’s fiscal 2009 fourth-quarter revenue fell 7.8%, to $172.5 million, down from $186.9 million for the same period last year. It posted a net loss of $22.2 million, including discontinued operations, compared with net income of $4.3 million in the fourth quarter 2008.

For fiscal 2009, sales declined 3.4%, to $714.0 million, down from $739.2 million in fiscal 2008. The company’s net loss for the year was $98.4 million, compared with net income of $21.1 million for fiscal 2008.

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