Archive for November, 2009

HSN Vendor and ‘Top Chef’ Star Padma Lakshmi Tells New York Post She Digs Being Naked

November 30, 2009

It’s becoming a habit: HSN’s celebrity vendors winding up on the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column. Monday it was “Top Chef’s” lovely Padma Lakshmi.

Page Six offered a tidbit, from its upcoming interview Thursday with the pregnant Lakshmi. It will appear in Page Six Magazine.

Bravo star Lakshmi, who has done a line of her cookbooks, teas and spices for HSN, tells Page Six, “I like me better naked….When you don’t have any clothes on, it’s just you, raw, and you can’t hide.”

We’re sure that will catch the attention and spark some fantasies for many red-blooded American men.

We can’t wait to read the full interview Thursday.

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ShopNBC Rolls With Designer Fragrances From Prada, Burberry And Dolce & Gabbana In Web Exclusive: They’ve Even Got Our Perfume, Angel By Thierry Mugler

November 30, 2009

Damn, ShopNBC keeps surprising us with the premium goods it’s selling online.

First, it was Gucci and Tag Heuer watches. Now, it’s designer fragrances from luxury brands such as Gucci, Burberry, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Vera Wang and Versace, to just name a few.

These Web exclusive perfumes even include our fragrance of choice: Angel by Thierry Mugler.

We even got some information about the ingredients that make Angel so great: Bergamot, Hedione, Helional, Honey, Dewberry, Red Berries, Vanilla, Caramel, Patchouli, Chocolate and Coumarin.

We suspected food was part of Angel’s mix. How we love the amoma of vanilla, chocolate and caramel. It makes us good enough to eat.

“Angel, the first perfume by Thierry Mugler, evokes the emotion of tender childhood memories together with a sense of dreamlike infinity,” ShopNBC’s Web site says.

“Angel, which launched a new fragrance category called the ‘oriental gourmands,’ seduces us with angelic flavors found deep within the heart of our memories, as well as sensual and passionate notes. Style: Pure. Soft. Innocent.”

That’s us — pure, soft, innocent.

The upscale perfumes are available online on five Value Pays, which is a nice deal.

After Record Black Friday, QVC Is Offering Free Shipping And Handling For Cyber Monday

November 29, 2009

After racking up record sales for Black Friday, QVC wants a piece of Cyber Monday’s action.

The No. 1 home shopping network will be offering more than 10,000 items on QVC.com with no shipping and handling costs.

In turn, HSN says it is offering free shipping on 3,500 items for Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.

In a much-publicized initiative, QVC stage a special 28-hour Black Friday event that rang up $32 million in sales, an increase of 60 percent from last year.

ShopNBC Adds Hipster Ed Hardy Watches To Its Lineup

November 29, 2009

ShopNBC, which wants to be home shopping’s premier destination for watches, on Monday will be selling timepieces from the hipster/edgy Ed Hardy.

The selection of watches from the clothing-design line will be on at 2 a.m. Monday morning. We especially liked a “Heart Krush” Quartz women’s watch, with its heart-shaped face, at $150.

There is also a fun men’s “Gladiator” watch, with the Ed Hardy signature graphic art on its face, for $116.

ShopNBC also has a stock of upscale watches it’s selling, including Gucci, Tag Heuer and Movado.

Singer Jewel To Peform Live On HSN At Crack Of Dawn Monday

November 29, 2009

If you’re a fan of the singer Jewel, set your alarm for 6:30 a.m. Monday. That’s when she will be performing live, acoustic guitar, on HSN.

Why HSN has scheduled Jewel’s first performance at dawn, we have no idea. But the singer will also be on at a more reasonable hour, 1 p.m. Monday.

We believe she will be performing songs from her CD “Lullaby,” which HSN is selling for $18.

As part of its effort to draw in non-home shopping viewers, both HSN and QVC have been offering live concert performances of artists such as Natalie Cole and Jose Feliciano.

QVC Racks Up Record $32 Million In Black Friday Sales, But What Does Poor 28-Hour Host Dave James Get?

November 28, 2009

We told you a QVC press release on Black Friday would be forthcoming, and here it is, released Saturday.

QVC enjoyed its biggest Black Friday ever, ringing up more than $32 million in orders – a 60 percent increase over last year’s Black Friday sales. More than 765,000 units were ordered in a 24-hour period, according to the home shopping network.

QVC mounted the most aggressive Black Friday event in its 23-year history. The network’s holiday weekend kicked off early, Thanksgiving evening, with “The New Black Friday,” a special programming event meant to keep shoppers at home rather than visiting their local malls.

QVC offered three Today’s Special Value offers (items presented at exceptionally low prices, for a specific period of time) instead of the usual one, and had specially priced deals in every hour of programming.

QVC CEO and president Mike George

“Our merchandising team worked incredibly hard to find the most special gift-giving ideas on the market and price them competitively,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement. “And, as always, the entire QVC organization delivered a fun, stress-free shopping experience for our customers. Given the successful results – our largest Black Friday in our company’s 23-year history – it’s clear that their hard work paid off,”

Said George, “We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response we received from our customers and will continue to strive to be their preferred destination for holiday shopping.”

Largely contributing to QVC’s Black Friday success was the Sylvania Digital Camcorder with a 2” LCD Color Display, one of the three Today’s Special Value offers, selling out of more than 200,000 units.

Additional top sellers from the day included the Sharper Image Entertainment Projector, the Playhut Travel Lounger with Removable Slumber Bag and Storage Tote, the Nintendo Wii Gaming System with Accessory Case and Games and the Olympus 12 MP, 5x Optical Zoom Camera.

QVC.com also played an integral role, contributing more than 40 percent of the day’s sales.

The press release made no mention of poor host Dave James, who stayed live for 28 hours straight — on the air and via Webcast — for the Black Friday event.

Give the poor man credit for his contribution to the day’s blockbuster sales, CEO George! How about combat pay for James?

A Review Of ‘Dreck,’ QVC’s 28-Hour Black Friday Extravaganza

November 28, 2009

In the next few days we are sure QVC will put out a press release about the robust sales from its 28-hour Black Friday event. We bet the revenue breaks records.

But we’re in the camp of viewers who were disappointed at the consumer-electronics-heavy assortment of goods, and bland “gift shows,” that QVC had on the air Friday. If fact, some irritated posters on QVC’s online forums rather eloquently summed up our sentiments.

In a thread titled, “In all my 20 years as a Q customer,” poster Bungo went on to write “I have NEVER seen such dreck as I have seen for this holiday season.”

“Dreck,” for those who don’t know, is derived from Yiddish and German and means “trash, rubbish,” according to Merriam-Webster.

Online poster Moonsista agreed with Bungo, writing, “22 years here and I agree. It’s like they drag out the cheapest, chintziest stuff made in China that they can find….I’m also tired of the same things over and over – the Floxite mirror, ClickFree external hard drive, Philosophy Amazing Grace, Mrs. Prindable’s, etc.”

Gardensla posted, “I’m into my second decade with the Q too and I totally agree with your assessment AND use of words to describe holiday 2009. Where are the high quality great priced jewelry items we’d all like to give? What happened to the really luxe cashmere scarf and glove sets of yore that were perfect SIL gifts?”

She went on, “And, how can you do holiday without lovely pajama and robe sets? Instead we get slankets, flashlight and coffeemakers — all of which I can buy for less at Target. Q always touts its amazing buying power due to its size and clout in the industry. Why then aren’t they offering the super items at way below retail prices of the past?”

Other QVC posters complained that the home shopping network wasn’t offering free shipping and handling, and that it had very few Easy Pays available.

We know why QVC programmed Black Friday the way it did. All the home shopping networks, including QVC, are shifting their product mix away from pricey jewelry, whose sales have nosedived. They are stocking more of the hot-selling consumer electronics items.

But for customers like us, who became home shopping network fans because of their huge assortment of jewelry at great prices, a Dell laptop or pocket camcorder is not going to float our boat.

By the way, we were too tired to stay up and watch, but did host Dave James survive his 28-hours straight on the air for Black Friday?

Now You Can Get Your Godiva Chocolate, And Chocolate-Scented Candles, At QVC

November 28, 2009

Premium sweets are coming to QVC: Godiva Chocolates arrive next Friday.

The No. 1 home shopping channel will have a half-hour show, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., where it will debut the tasty chocolates. Godiva is usually sold in company-owned stores in malls or in department stories such as Lord & Taylor and Bloomingsale’s.

Here is what QVC’s Web site has to say:

“Since 1926, Godiva Chocolate, originally named in honor of Lady Godiva, continues to be the leader in premium chocolates. Master Chocolatier Joseph Draps introduced Godiva chocolate to Belgium when he opened his first shop in Brussels, unveiling his unique formula of rich chocolate with unparalleled smoothness. Today, the same mouthwatering assortment comes to QVC, offering you and your loved ones gourmet chocolate of the highest quality, made from the purest ingredients. Treat your family, friends and holiday guests to delectable chocolates, beautifully presented in exquisite European-style gold ballotins and festive, seasonal packaging.”

The priciests Godiva item that QVC has, a $53 Chocolatier Indulgence Gift Tower, is already on Wait List.

QVC is also selling two Godiva Chocolate-scented candles for $30.

If you’re in the boondocks and not near any Godiva Chocolate stores, we guess getting the goodies from QVC makes sense.

But we’re not going to pay shipping and handling for something we can buy at the Short Hills Mall, if we could afford it.

QVC, Let ‘Black Friday’ Host Dave James Go Home, After 20-Plus Hours On-Air He’s Getting ‘Zombiefied’

November 27, 2009

What a trooper QVC host Dave James is! But get the man some strong coffee, or drugs. Or better yet, cite QVC for cruel and unusual punishment of its employees.

For QVC’s big Black Friday event, James is appearing live for the network for 28 hours straight. He started at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night. If he’s not on the air live, he is appearing on a Webcast, showing viewers a behind-the-scenes look at QVC.

About 4:45 p.m. Friday, we checked out the Webcast and saw James with fellow host Sharon Faetsch. He was using a Dell laptop that is going to be tomorrow’s Today’s Special Value, and he looked like he needed toothpicks to keep his eyes open.

Sharon Faetsch

“He’s a little zombiefied at this point,” said Faetsch, since James had been on 20 hours straight by that time.

“I can only close one eye at a time, or I’ll fall asleep,” he said at one point.

James could barely feign interest in Faetsch’s babbling about a taco-egg recipe. Finally, he got up and said he was taking a break.

“I’ll be back in just a few minutes,” James said. “Guys, I’m going to cut off my microphone.”

Thank God. It’s embarrassing when you leave you mic on when you’re in the bathroom. Didn’t Leslie Nielsen do that in one of his movie comedies, maybe “Naked Gun”?

James took such a long time getting back that Faetsch brought out a life-sized photo of him and sat it next to her, and then she had a backstage crew member come up and chat with her.

James is a pro, and it was amazing to see him summon up his energy and perk up when he want back on live TV.

Behind the scenes, we saw James being told he was going to have to do a “walkaround” with a cameraman with a Steadicam.

In between all this, James was concerned about the score for the Alabama-Auburn game. We know nothing about college football, but he was rooting for Alabama.

“Roll (Crimson) Tide, roll,” he said.

Some posters on QVC’s forums complained that looking at the Webcast “was like watching paint dry,” but we actually enjoyed watching Faetsch squirm when James took so long to come back from his break.

Amy Stran

And we heard this behind-the-scenes tidbit: “We’re going to have to be quiet when we go where Jane (Treacy) is selling,” the stage manager told James.

As we turned off the Webcast, host Amy Stran, a former cast member of the soap operas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” had just joined James.

At one point, Stran and Faetsch were chastised by a stage manager for talking about one of their wedding-ring sets while James was chatting to his wife on the phone about the football game.

“You can’t have two conversations,” the stage manager said, noting that viewers — like us — were hearing everyone talk at once.

QVC, let James go home.

Jewelry Lovers Beware: Put Up With The Traffic And Hit The Malls, Not QVC, On Black Friday

November 27, 2009

Dave James

We’re not feeling QVC’s much-hyped 28-hour “New” Black Friday event. If you’re a jewelry junkie like us, it’s not your day to tune in.

First of all, as QVC CEO Mike George has said, the network has shifted its product mix to more consumer electronics goods. And that’s reflected in the three — count ’em — three Today’s Special Values that QVC has Black Friday.

They are a Sharper Image projector, a kids Playhut Travel Lounger and the lowest-priced camcorder QVC has ever offered, a Sylvania pocket camcorder at $29.

We have to admit, the inexpensive camcorder is pretty neat. And it hands-down beats HSN’s Today’s Special, a Vado HD pocket camcorder at $129.

QVC host Dave James is staying on the air for the full 28 hours of the network’s event, and at about 8 a.m. he was looking a little tired. His kids did a paper-link chain for him with 28 links, one for each hour, and he’s pulling one off as he finishes another hour.

We’re amazed at the press attention QVC’s Black Friday event has garnered. On Friday the New York Daily News did a story on QVC, HSN and ShopNBC’s and their Black Friday strategies.

QVC host Lisa Robertson, QVC vice president of marketing and programming Doug Rose and HSN executive vice president of programming Bill Brand were all quoted.