Harry & David Holdings (HDH) wants customers to enjoy the fruits -- and flowers -- of its labors. Its Harry and David Direct Marketing catalog and e-commerce unit offers gift baskets filled with gourmet foods, most notably its Royal Riviera pears, Moose Munch popcorn snacks, and Tower of Treats gifts. It also runs the Fruit-of-the-Month Club. Harry and David Stores sell fruits, flowers, gourmet specialties, and wine through about 50 locations in 25 states. The company's products are sold under its namesake Harry & David, Wolferman's, and Cushman brands. Harry & David Holdings has agreed to be acquired by rival 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.
Change in Company Type
The online flower giant is seeking to expand its menu to include gift baskets and gourmet foods by acquiring Harry & David Holdings for $142.5 million in cash. The sale of the company to 1-800-FLOWERS.COM is expected to close in October 2014.
New York investment firm Wasserstein Partners and its affiliates control HDH. Wasserstein Partners bought HDH (formerly known as Bear Creek Corp.) in 2004 along with hedge fund Highfields Capital Management for $253 million.
HDH emerged from six months in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2011 after the court approved its reorganization plan in August.
HDH's wholesale business supplies products, such as Moose Munch popcorn and other snacks, to retail clubs, department stores, grocery retailers, and other mass merchants. The wholesale channel helps to boost the company's sales during the non-holiday selling season. Indeed, more than 60% of the company's sales are made between October and December.
HDH owns about 3,400 acres of land in Oregon where it grows it pears and operates a 54,000-square-foot bakery, confectionery and chocolate plant. The company grows or makes about 85% of its products.
Sales and Marketing
Harry & David Direct Marketing takes orders online, at two year-round call centers, and a third seasonal call center.
HDH rings up nearly $400 million in sales annually.
As the popularity of online shopping increases, HDH is mailing far fewer catalogs than in the past as it works to move its customers to online ordering. The company estimates it has saved more than 9 million pounds of paper since it began the campaign in 2003. HDH also emphasizes its conservation and recycling efforts, in offices and at its agriculture operations.