Frozen flowers?

bouquet.jpegLast year, 1-800 Flowers (FLWS) disclosed for the first time that the sister of Chairman and CEO James McCann and President Christopher McCann was paid $129.5K to be a "personality expert designer", something a regular thought sounded like a pretty nifty job. But this year’s proxy is even better. Sister Julie Mulligan still has the same job. But this past year, she made a heckuva lot more according to the proxy filed late Friday: $330K, which the proxy noted was largely due to the $200K bonus she received for these products that bear her name.

But that wasn’t the only thing interesting in the proxy. There was also another new relative who popped up — James McCann’s daughter Erin. Like Mulligan last year, it’s not clear if Erin is a new hire or just a new disclosure since her salary just exceeded the $60K cut-off that requires companies (at least for now) to disclose the transaction.

And speaking of salaries, investors have to wonder why the Brothers McCann continue to collect hefty paychecks, while the stock continues to tank. As the proxy notes, James McCann’s salary has been frozen at $975K for the last three years; his brother Chris has seen his salary increase nearly 20% over the past two years. But as this chart shows, investors haven’t fared quite as well. Indeed, the numbers included in the proxy statement show that $100 invested in 1-800 Flowers stock in July 2001 was worth $38.88 at the end of June. That’s not exactly something you’d likely boast about over dinner with the family. Then again, which Flowers director really wants to be the one to stand up and say there’s more than a few family members who are getting paid too much?