Harry & David reports revenue bump for holiday season

Harry & David increased sales 2.7 percent during the 2013 holiday period, but the cost of producing, marketing and delivering its goods increased as well.

The Medford-based gourmet food and gift company with deep ties to the Rogue Valley's pear orchards reported second fiscal quarter 2014 sales of $260.4 million versus $254.8 million a year earlier. Increased costs, however, produced flat earnings as the company saw its profit drop $105,000 to $41.569 million in the quarter ending Dec. 28.

"The quarter was a challenging one for many retailers — ShopperTrak publicly reported lower customer traffic at retail while e-commerce growth lagged behind projections put forth by the National Retail Federation and others," Harry & David Chief Executive Officer Craig Johnson said in a statement. "Additionally, this holiday season had six fewer shopping days than last year — 26 days in 2013 as opposed to 32 days in 2012."

Despite the challenges, he said, Harry & David grew its customer count. The company saw a 9 percent growth in online sales, including an 8 percent gain in turning website visits to sales from desktop computers and 14 percent by tablet users.

"We continued to see customers shift to the web where our investments in our online customer experience and online marketing channels really paid off," Johnson said.

Harry & David benefitted from 33 seasonal stores, he said, and began its partnership with The Cheesecake Factory during the fall as well.

— Greg Stiles

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