A New Boss: Harry & David Sold
One of Southern Oregon's largest employers will soon answer to new bosses.
Harry & David, named for founding brothers Harry & David Holmes, is the Medford-based retailer and producer of fruit and specialty food products. The company employs roughly 2,000 workers in Jackson County.
1-800Flowers.com made a name for itself selling flowers and gifts. The purchase gives it Harry & David's multiple brands, facilities and websites. The deal is expected to close in October.
In a news release, Harry & David CEO Craig Johnson reports his company "thrilled" by the deal. "This announcement is a clear endorsement of the remarkable work that our talented team has put in over the past several years to rebuild the iconic Harry & David brand."
The brand took a beating as Harry & David's 2004 buyers loaded the company with debt, replaced top managers, then declared bankruptcy in March 2011, dumping many of its debts and its pension plan. It emerged from bankruptcy a year ago.
1-800Flowers.com CEO Jim McCann praised Harry & David's rebuilding and its reputation: "We are extremely pleased to be adding the iconic Harry & David name to our growing family of great gifting brands," he said.
The announcement notes many of the similarities between the businesses. And it's not the first time Harry & David has been tied to a flower company; for years it shared corporate parents and Medford HQ with Jackson & Perkins, a flower grower and seller now located in South Carolina.