Many gift baskets are purchased online and shipped directly to the recipient. They can also be found in main street stores. Some companies specialize in baskets, but many are made as an adjunct to a specific business. For example, a wine shop may make baskets with cheese and wine in them.
Shipping baskets requires a certain amount of care. As perishable items such as fruit and flowers are often included, they need to be transported as such. In some cases, a dried bouquet may be used in order to reduce refrigeration and special handling needs.
Arrangements and designs require an artistry fairly similar to that needed by florists. In fact, it is not uncommon for contents to be arranged as a fake bouquet. Needless to say, companies also require the creation of the food items. They thus may have to deal with orchards, vineyards and cheesemakers. Cookies and chocolate are also commonly included in baskets. Alternatively, the baker or cheesemaker may hire somebody to make baskets containing their products. Some gift baskets may be shipped by courier. Other companies hire their own delivery drivers.
Some parts of the gift basket business are year round. Sympathy, thank you, and get well gifts are a regular need. Birthday and anniversary baskets also tend to be spread out, although anniversaries, like weddings, are more common in the summer. Baby showers also happen all year. However, certain holidays can result in a peak in business. Christmas and Easter see a very large increase, with Mother's Day and Valentine's Day also being important. Workers have to be ready to deal with these peaks in demand.
Edible items can range from cheap candy to gourmet food. Presentation is key, with arrangements being standard or customized to the customer. Additionally, the creation of the physical baskets requires a specific skill.