Florists' Transworld Delivery

Florists' Transworld Delivery

Infobox Company
name = FTD Group

owner = United Online Former retailers' cooperative
foundation = 1910
founder =
location_city = Downers Grove, Illinois
location_country = United States
location =
locations =
area_served =
key_people = Michael J. Soenen, President and CEO
Peter J. Nolan, ChairmanCite web
title=2007 Annual Report
publisher=FTD Group, Inc.
industry = Floral industry
products =
services =
market c

revenue = Increase$613 million (2007)
operating_income = Increase$78 million (2007)
net_income = Increase$32 million (2007)
assets = Increase$749 million Figures at financial year end, June 30, 2007]
equity = Increase$262 million
owner =
num_employees = 984 (2007)
parent =
divisions =
subsid = FTD.COM (direct sales)
FTD, Inc. (floral trade services, North America)

Interflora (floral trade services, UK and Ireland)
homepage = [ FTD.COM]
footnotes =
intl = no

FTD Group, Inc. (FTD), also trading as Florists' Transworld Delivery, is a floral wire service, retailer and wholesaler based in Downers Grove, Illinois, in the United States. FTD was founded as Florists' Telegraph Delivery in 1910, to help customers send flowers remotely on the same day by using florists in the FTD network who are near the intended recipient.It originated as a retailers' cooperative and began a process of demutualization in 1994.It operates two main businesses: The Consumer Business sells flowers and gift items through its websites and The Floral Business sells computer services, software and even fresh cut flowers to FTD and Interflora affiliated florists.

Retail Florist Association (formerly Extra Touch Florist Association and FTD Association) is a trade association that originated as the member education, advocacy and quality assurance arm of FTD, breaking formal ties with FTD in 2001.

FTD processes orders through the Mercury Network, its international telecommunications service.

In 2008, United Online (Nasdaq2|UNTD) announced a merger agreement with FTD Group, valued at $800 million. [Cite web
title=Press release: United Online, Inc. to Acquire FTD Group, Inc. for Approximately $800 Million
publisher=United Online and FTD Group
] . The acquisition was completed and shares of FTD ceased to trade on the NYSE August 26, 2008.


On August 18, 1910, fifteen American florists agreed to serve each others' out-of-town customers by exchanging orders via telegraph, and was called Florists' Telegraph Delivery. In 1914, the company adopted "Mercury Man" as its logo, to emphasize the speed of delivery. In 1965, it began offering international order, and took the name of Florists' Transworld Delivery. [Cite web
title=About Us: The History of FTD

Quote box
quote = "'Demutualization of co-operatives

Demutualization of a co-operative is sometimes known as privatization, and involves the consumer members [In this case, the members are the retail florists] surrendering their “one member one vote” democratic control of the business, in exchange for a windfall of cash, or shares of a joint stock company. The stock company acquires control of the business, and ownership of its assets.

source =
width = 35%
align = right

Going public

In 1994, FTD began a process of demutualization.On December 19, 1994, a precursor to the FTD Corporation, a private, for-profit company, acquired FTD, which then divided FTD into two organizations: FTD Incorporated, a for profit corporation, and FTD Association, a non-profit trade association.

FTD Incorporated retained FTD's businesses, including the Mercury Network and the clearinghouse, and controlled FTD Association's rules, regulations, and bylaws. The FTD Association retained member education, advocacy and quality assurance.

In 2000, FTD Incorporated held an initial public offering of on the NASDAQ. FTD Group was listed on the NYSE in 2005. The company is based in Downers Grove, Illinois.

In 2001, the FTD Association separated from FTD Incorporated, terminated all contracts, and, in exchange for $14 million, renamed itself Extra Touch Floral Association, and later, Retail Florist Association. It is based in Livonia, Michigan. [Cite web
title=About Us: A letter from the President
quote=Retail Florist Association was founded in 2001 (as Extra Touch Floral Association) to promote and support growth, education and networking for the individual brick and mortar retail florist.
] [Cite news
title=Reorganized Association Links Consumers With Local Retail Florists
publisher=Business Wire via


On July 31, 2006, FTD, Inc. announced its acquisition of Interflora Holdings, a UK-based sister co-operative that offered the FTD network in Britain and Ireland under the Interflora brand. “"The acquisition, first announced on July 7th, 2006, was made for a purchase price of GBP 66 million, or approximately [US] $122 million, excluding transaction costs."” [cite press release
title = FTD Group, Inc. Completes Purchase of Interflora Holdings Limited
publisher = FTD Group, Inc.
date = 2006-07-31
url =
accessdate = 2006-09-23


Fiscal year 2006 revenues grew 6.2% to $465.1 million, compared with revenues of $437.8 million for fiscal 2005. This revenue growth was driven by an 11.6% increase in revenue in the Consumer Segment. [cite press release
title = FTD Group, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2006 Results
publisher = FTD Group, Inc.
date = 2006-08-09
url =
accessdate = 2006-09-23

The Mercury Network, the electronic network used by FTD, processes about fifteen million orders annually, through about 50,000 FTD affiliates in 154 countries, of which about 20,000 are in the United States and Canada. The Mercury Network was developed by John D. Goeken, a telecommunications entrepreneur who co-founded MCI Communications.




FTD had obtained a near-monopoly position in its market. It has been sued several times by the United States Department of Justice to ensure it does not engage in non-competitive behavior, namely prohibiting members from affiliating with competing flowers-by-wire services. FTD entered into consent decrees with the Department of Justice after 1956, 1969, and 1990 suits. [Cite web
publisher=United States Department of Justice
] [Cite web
title=F.T.D. Agrees to Settle Antitrust Complaint
work=New York Times

Florists' Transworld Delivery (FTD), sued its competitor ProFlowers for false advertising in August 2005. The suit focused on ProFlowers's claim to ship "direct from the fields" with "no middlemen". Stating that the lawsuit was "without merit", ProFlowers brought counterclaims against FTD. The lawsuit was settled a year later out of court.Fact|date=May 2008


External links

* [ FTD, Inc.] – florist trade business
* [ FTD.COM] – consumer direct sales
* [ US Department of Justice settles charges against FTD]
* [] – Retail Florist Association corporate website (separated from FTD in 2001)

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