James McCann (businessman)
James F. "Jim" McCann is an American entrepreneur who founded 1-800-Flowers, a corporation based in the United States which was one of the first companies to pioneer and popularize the use of both toll-free telephone numbers and Web sites to sell goods and services directly to consumers.
McCann was originally a social worker and administrator for St. John's Home for Boys in Rockaway, NY. In the early 1970s, McCann worked weekends at a Manhattan flower shop. In 1976, he opened his own flower shop in Queens, NY. By 1986 McCann owned and operated 14 "FloraPlenty" flower shops in the New York Metropolitan Area.
According to his autobiography, "Stop and Sell the Roses", he came up with the idea of building a nationwide flower service while "listening to the radio as he was shaving". In 1986, he bought a nearly bankrupt company in Texas which owned the phone number 1-800-Flowers. McCann changed the name of his chain accordingly.
In 1992 and 1994, McCann established deals with online pioneers CompuServe and AOL, becoming among the first retailers to establish an online presence. Again, the success of AOL and 1-800-Flowers' exclusive agreement with the online provider was very beneficial to the company.
In 1995 McCann established the Web site www.1800flowers.com, becoming one of the first retailers to establish a Web presence. The company went public when it filed its IPO in 1999 under stock ticker FLWS.
As of 2008, McCann continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of 1-800-Flowers. He is often sought after to speak on topics of entrepreneurship, marketing and the Internet. He also serves on various corporate boards.
McCann is one of the minority owners of the New York Mets, holding a 4% stake in the baseball team.
McCann currently lives in Manhasset, New York with his wife and three children.