Yanique Woodall, 1-800-Flowers’ VP of public relations told FoodProductionDaily, “On Thanksgiving day a fire damaged the Fannie May Chocolates and Harry London Chocolates warehouse and distribution facility located in Maple Heights, Ohio. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported.”
The following day, Maple Heights fire chief Rick Teckmyer told reporters that the still-smouldering building was hampering his department’s ability to begin an investigation. He said it would likely be several days before the cause of the fire could be determined.
“We are working to assess the full impact of the fire,” said Woodall. “In addition, we are implementing contingency plans to minimize any impact to our associates… and help our customers deliver smiles for this holiday season.”
Up in smoke
The 1-800-Flowers warehouse “was severely damaged, rendering it inoperable for the holiday season,” Business Wire reported. “Inventories stored at the facility for distribution… were damaged or lost in the fire.”
The report added that due to the lost inventories and the impact to distribution operations, the company expects to have limited supplies of its Fannie May and Harry London chocolate products available in its retail stores, e-commerce sites and wholesale channels during the holiday season.
To salvage its seasonal business, 1-800-Flowers has begun ramping up production at its chocolate and confection production plant in Canton, Ohio, according to Business Wire. The company is also shifting warehousing and distribution operations to its other facilities and seeking out third-party facilities as well.
“While the constrained inventory is likely to impact total revenues for the holiday season, the company is insured for losses incurred due to the fire, including material losses and business interruption,” the report stated.