Gourmet food and gift retailer Harry and David is working to promote its products for everyday gifting with a ‘Share More’ brand campaign. The retailer also plans to hire 5,000 seasonal employees.

1-800-Flowers.com Inc.-owned retailer Harry & David plans to hire 5,000 seasonal employees for the holiday season. Those new employees represent the bulk of 1-800-Flowers.com Inc.’s holiday hiring spree, as the flower and gift brand recently announced it will hire 8,000 total seasonal employees across all of its brands, including Harry and David, Cheryl’s Cookies and The Popcorn Factory. This is the same number of seasonal employees the company hired last year.

Harry & David also plans to open 20 pop-up retail stores during the holiday season, in addition to operating its 42 year-round stores. The retailer is hiring for e-commerce positions such as its distribution and fulfillment center operations and call center, as well as in its retail stores.

The holiday season is always an important season for Harry & David, says chief marketing officer Michelle Farabaugh. Last year, traffic surged 235% in November to 1.55 million visits and 848% to 4.39 million visits in December, compared with its previous monthly average of 463,174 visits between August and October 2017, according to SimilarWeb Ltd.

The retailer is also increasingly focused on keeping its brand top-of-mind outside of the holiday season, which is why it recently launched a new marketing campaign called “Share More” that highlights Harry and David’s non-holiday gift products such as items intended to be given for events such as birthdays.

Harry & David hopes that with the campaign title “Share More,” consumers may be more inclined to share their photos on social media with #ShareMore to create more buzz around the campaign. “Social is such a big component of it,” Farabaugh says.

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In conjunction with this campaign, the retailer has invested in an in-house creative team to produce video ads and video content on its site that illustrate the sharing campaign, she says.


“Share More” is one piece of a broader Harry & David project to “digitally transform” its business, she says. For instance, Harry & David has shifted from largely sending catalogs to a more program in which it sends targeted direct mail pieces based on a shopper’s browsing or previous purchases.

“We’re looking for new opportunities to leverage our business intelligence about how our customers interact with us, and are purchasing from us,” Farabaugh says. “We want to make sure we are talking to them at right time and with the right media that is appropriate to where you are in the customer journey.”

For example, if a shopper had previously bought a truffle gift box in July, Harry & David may use truffle photos in its display advertising, direct mail and marketing emails around the same time next year, because the event the shopper made this purchase for could be recurring.

This brand repositioning for Harry & David comes after a strong fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year, which ended July 1, according to 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. In particular, product collections specific to birthday, sympathy and thank you had “strong double-digit growth,” CEO Chris McCann said in a call to investors, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

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“In our gourmet food and gift baskets, Harry & David’s e-commerce business is growing at a solid, sustainable pace, reflecting strong everyday and holiday gifting demand,” McCann said.

What’s more Harry & David’s e-commerce sales—which includes online and telephone sales—increased more than 6% for the 2018 fiscal year, and when just comparing the second half of fiscal 2018 to the second half of fiscal 2017, sales were up more than 9%, said Bill Shea, chief financial officer.

This is compared with 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (No. 66 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500) overall, which had e-commerce sales increase 2.8% year over year for fiscal 2018 ended July 1.

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