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Flower company's food focus

Juliana Ginebra, fruit basket manager for 1-800Flowers, puts

Juliana Ginebra, fruit basket manager for 1-800Flowers, puts together the gift baskets at the a distribution center in 2006 in Bethpage. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Carle Place florist 1-800-Flowers.com is not expecting much improvement in the U.S. economy in the coming year — especially when it comes to selling flowers.

That's why the company continues to keep its operating expenses low — and why it is putting more attention on selling gift baskets that contain food, the company’s executives said in a conference call with industry analysts Thursday.

Consumer demand "continues to be soft, more so on the floral category than in our food" products, in the past few months, Chris McCann, the company president, said. He continued, "…anytime there's change in economic downturn like this the consumer finds more value on food as a gift set. It's a little bit less discretionary maybe in the floral product."

Juliana Ginebra, fruit basket manager for 1-800Flowers, puts together the gift baskets at the a distribution center in 2006 in Bethpage.

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