ProFlowers

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ProvideCommerce
Type Subsidiary
Industry Retail
Founded April 1998
Headquarters San Diego, California
Key people Chris Shimojima CEO
Products Flowers
Parent Provide Commerce (Liberty Media)
Website www.proflowers.com

ProFlowers is a major[according to whom?] flower retailer in the United States. It is an e-commerce company that sells products shipped from growers, suppliers and its own distribution facilities to consumers. ProFlowers is headquartered in San Diego, California. It is part of a larger entity, Provide Commerce.,[1] which is in turn part of Liberty Media.

History[edit]

ProFlowers, later called "Provide Commerce", was started by Jared Polis in 1998.[2] In February 2006 Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE:L; LMC.B) purchased Provide Commerce, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRVD) for a sum of $477 million in cash, at which point Provide Commerce became a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media. Provide Commerce also offers fruit, sweets and gift baskets direct from the supplier through its Gourmet Food Business Unit, which includes the brand names Cherry Moon Farms, Secret Spoon and Shari's Berries. In 2008 Provide Commerce acquired RedEnvelope, a seller of gifts.

In 2007 Provide Commerce was selected as one of California's Best Places to Work (Sponsored by Employers Group 2007).[citation needed]

Litigation[edit]

ProFlowers was sued by its major rival, Florists' Transworld Delivery (FTD), for false advertising and unfair competition in August 2005. The suit focused on ProFlowers' claim to ship "direct from the fields" with "no middlemen", alleging that the company actually often stored flowers in refrigerated warehouses, including those of third parties.[citation needed] For its part, ProFlowers responded that the lawsuit was "without merit"[this quote needs a citation] and brought counterclaims against FTD. The lawsuit was settled a year later. ProFlowers did agree to make some modifications to its advertising, although as of February 2008, ProFlowers is once again claiming in its TV commercials that it delivers flowers "straight to the door from the growers' fields".[3][third-party source needed]

Two months after the FTD suit was filed, two law firms filed a class action lawsuit claiming that ProFlowers used deceptive marketing, also targeting the company's freshness claims. ProFlowers called it a copycat of the FTD lawsuit. It was settled with ProFlowers not admitting any wrongdoing, but offering $10 store credits to the millions of customers in the class, paying $250,000 in attorneys' fees, and "altering its advertising".[4]

In September 2009 a class action lawsuit was filed against Provide-Commerce, the owner of ProFlowers and Encore Marketing the owner of Easy Saver, for fraud, with ProFlowers customers signed up unknowingly for the latter service leading to an unsolicited monthly fee.[5]

In February 2011 a federal class action was filed accusing Provide-Commerce and Clarus Marketing Group of defrauding online shoppers by enrolling them in a "membership program"[this quote needs a citation] that costs $9 to $15 a month if they click on ads offering free shipping with a purchase.[6][not specific enough to verify]

Competitors[edit]

Partners[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ About Us
  2. ^ Jared Polis: INC.com .
  3. ^ Provide Commerce and FTD Resolve Lawsuit, joint press release, August 8, 2006.
  4. ^ Vuong, Andy. "Lawsuit Pricks at Net Florist". Denver Post, November 6, 2006.
  5. ^ NBCSanDiego.com "Class-Action Suit Targets ProFlowers". MSNBC, September 1, 2009.
  6. ^ Couthouse News Service "[1]". Courthouse News Service, February 18, 2011.