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1-800-Flowers to hire 8,000 seasonal workers for gourmet brands

Store manager Lauren Ceglio wraps a floral arrangement

Store manager Lauren Ceglio wraps a floral arrangement at 1-800-Flowers headquarters in Carle Place on Oct. 29, 2013. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Carle Place-based 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. plans to hire about 8,000 seasonal workers nationwide as it prepares for the holiday shopping season, the company said Wednesday.

The move will nearly quadruple the workforce of the online florist and gift company, although seasonal hires are not planned on Long Island. The company currently has about 3,000 full-time employees, including about 325 full-time employees on Long Island, a company spokeswoman said.

“We do not typically add seasonal workers for the year-end holiday at our Carle Place headquarters,” a 1-800-Flowers spokesman said.

Most of the seasonal positions are being offered in Illinois, Ohio and Oregon, at facilities that serve the company’s gourmet food brands, including Harry & David, Cheryl’s Cookies and The Popcorn Factory. Openings include full-time and part-time jobs in production, gift assembly, retail stores, call centers, and distribution and fulfillment centers.

The peak holiday season for those brands begins to ramp up in mid-September for the November and December holidays, the spokeswoman said.

Seasonal associates will be eligible for some employee discounts and may also be considered for permanent positions after the holidays. Interested candidates can apply at 1-800-flowers.com/hiring.

Separately, 1-800-Flowers announced Wednesday that its board has authorized an increase in the company’s share repurchase program to $30 million. The company said it had about $15 million remaining on its previous board authorization of $25 million issued in October 2016. The company spent about $11 million buying back about 1.3 million shares during its fiscal 2017, ended July 2, the company spokesman said.

“The combination of the strong cash flow produced by our operating model and the proceeds of the recent sale of Fannie May has provided the company with significant liquidity and flexibility,” 1-800-Flowers chief executive Chris McCann said in a statement. “As such, we are able to invest in further organic growth while continuing to pursue potential acquisition opportunities and simultaneously accelerate the return of capital to our shareholders through the increased share repurchase authorization.”

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