August 27, 2016

“70-year-old Wesley Berry Flowers closing local company-owned stores,” Crain’s Detroit Business, August 27, 2016

The 70-year-old Wesley Berry Flowers florist chain is shutting down local company-owned stores.

It’s unclear whether FlowerDeliveryExpress.com, the national, online floral business that put Wesley Berry on Inc. magazine’s 2014 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the country, is still operating.

FDE’s growing footprint — with deliveries in 152 countries — put it into conflict and court with online florist giant Teleflora LLC, as Crain’s reported last year.

FDE had been a member of the Teleflora network going back to the 1950s and used its services for order fulfillment and credit card processing. But the two began sparring over issues stemming from a large number of refunds to credit card transactions. Teleflora cut Wesley Berry from its floral network in April 2015, and lawsuits filed by each side ensued.

“My read is there was an agreement between these parties regarding the use of (Teleflora’s) marks, and ultimately this dispute would land on breach of contract principles,” said Rudy Telscher, partner and head of litigation in the St. Louis office of Troy-based Harness, Dickey & Pierce PLC.

Teleflora voluntarily dismissed its claims in the federal case in favor of the state case, which would indicate it believes its best claims are in the state case, he said.

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