"I've heard people refer to us as one of the most successful retailing sites on the Web," said Chris McCann, VP-operations. But a recent test of selling floral arrangements "wasn't the same as what you'd get on a commercial online service."
1-800-Flowers generates 10% of its $200 million in annual revenues from interactive retailing-it has outposts on America Online, CompuServe, eWorld and other venues.
The company took in 75 to 100 orders a day during its Web test earlier this year, Mr. McCann said, which would have worked out to $5 million in annual revenues. But for him, that wasn't enough.
"I don't think people are getting on the Internet today with the main reason being shopping," he said. "We're realizing we have to be the ones more involved in engaging the consumer."
800-Flowers relaunches its Web site (http://www.800flowers.com) this month focusing more on providing information and education than hard-core retailing.
Mr. McCann expects the site to turn s profit by the end of the first year.