Archive for July, 2010

Singer Mary J. Blige Is Charming On HSN As She Launches Her Perfume Line

July 31, 2010

Singer Mary J. Blige is sitting pretty on HSN right now, looking gorgeous in a tight leopard outfit at just past 1 a.m. Saturday Eastern Time.

She is touting her perfume My Life, which is launching exclusively on HSN and is the Today’s Special., at $46. Blige is coming off as very charming and down to earth.

Blige thanked HSN and host Callie Northagen for making her feel comfortable. The festivities included clips of Blige in a lab coat testing out the fragrances that are “notes” in her perfume, which include tuberose.

The TS perfume, in a heart-shaped bottle, comes with a gold clutch.

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Is HSN Bouncing Beyonce’s Mom, Miss Tina, From The Home Shopping Network?

July 30, 2010

Tina Knowles, Beyonce's mom

It looks like HSN is discontinuing yet another clothing line, and this time the exit door is being given to Tina Knowles, mother of pop superstar Beyonce Knowles.

Mama Knowles, who used to design costumes for Destiny’s Child before Beyonce split off from that group, has been doing a clothing and accessory line for HSN called Miss Tina By Tina Knowles.

The collection included not only clothing but also jewelry, shoes and handbags.

But currently all of Miss Tina’a merchandise on HSN.com, the little of it there is left, is on clearance. The line included some clunkers, like a skirt attached to leggings. But it also had more classic pieces, especially the purses.

We asked HSN for a comment Thursday, and the network said it was getting something together for us. We still don’t have anything from them.

HSN, under new CEO Mindy Grossman, has replaced many of the channel’s veteran vendors, such as Suzanne Somers, with hipper, more upscale and notable designers, such as Badgley Mischka.

Miss Tina would be the second African-American designer to lose her line on HSN. This year Terry Lewis, a former HSN host who did a collection called Classic Luxury for her former employer, also lost her spot on the network’s roster.

Of course, HSN has ended its relationship with many Caucasian vendors, as well, but the exit of Miss Tina might not sit well with some viewers, especially black customers of the No. 2 home shopping network. We heard from fans of Lewis who were not happy about her departure.

That would self-defeating for HSN, which of all the three major electronic retailers seems to have made a real effort to use African-American vendors and court African-American customers. HSN’s black vendors include Iman, Serena Williams, Carol’s Daughter, Sean ‘Puff Daddy” Combs, Antthony Design Originals and Natalie Cole.

And Saturday singer Mary J. Blige will do the exclusive premiere of her perfume, My Life, on HSN.

July 30, 2010


Original Video – More videos at TinyPic

ShopNBC’s Pamela McCoy Debuts New Fall Collection Friday

July 30, 2010

ShopNBC’s Pamela McCoy will debut her new fall collection during the “Meet the Designers” event kicking off at midnight Friday, namely in less than half an hour.

Former host McCoy will appear as a guest expert on ShopNBC Friday throughout the day with her “Pamela McCoy Collection” show series, plus a webcast on ShopNBC.com at 1 a.m. featuring three never-before-seen styles.

“Meet the Designers” focuses on the designers behind the collections, and will feature the return of Omar Torres jewelry, plus new arrivals from Anuschka Handbags, Christian Audigier Watches and Gems en Vogue II.

“Meet the Designers” will tell viewers about the designers of their favorite ShopNBC collections, along with behind-the-scenes trend advice and styling tips. McCoy will share the inspiration behind her new fall apparel line. Torres will discuss the gems and latest trends in jewelry, while Michael Violandi will share the Hollywood-adored designs from the Christian Audigier Watch collection.

For those with an eye for art, customer-favorite Bhaskar Basu will bring to life the inspiration behind the hand-painted artwork on every Anuschka handbag.

QVC, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Partner For Fourth Annual ‘Super Saturday’ Live Broadcast

July 29, 2010

QVC this summer is once again joining forces with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, OCRF, to broadcast QVC Presents Super Saturday Live, benefiting the fund.

The two-hour “designer charity sale,” set in the middle of the star-studded Super Saturday sale in the Hamptons this weekend, kicks off at 2 p.m. It will feature premier fashion, beauty, jewelry, accessories and home pieces at half the manufacturer’s suggested retail price with net proceeds benefiting OCRF.

“QVC Presents Super Saturday Live continues to be one of our most exciting shows of the year,” Claire Watts, QVC president of U.S. Commerce, said in a canned statement. “To have the opportunity to work with OCRF and help raise money for such a great cause is truly amazing. We look forward to another successful broadcast.”

Previously only available to the Hamptons elite and celebrities, the Super Saturday sale now reaches QVC’s 98 million U.S. homes, allowing shoppers throughout the country to purchase designer brands at a fraction of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price while supporting OCRF. Currently in its 13th year, Super Saturday will broadcast live for the fourth consecutive year on QVC

Lisa Robertson Watch Your Back: QVC Hires Young ‘Multi-Media’ Host, Courtney Cason

July 28, 2010

QVC queen bee Lisa Robertson may be facing competition from the network's first multi-media host, Courtney Cason

After auditioning many candidates, QVC has hired its first multi-media host, it said on Facebook Wednesday.

“Something big is happening at the Q – meet our first multi-media host, Courtney Cason,” the network told its Facebook friends. “She’s not your traditional host, as you’ll learn! Jump into her world in this video and get to know Courtney. She could pop up anywhere, like QVC.com, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Cyber Hosting, blogs – tell us, where do you want to see her?”

We bet QVC’s resident glamour-puss host, Lisa Roberston, would like to see Courtney in Siberia.

QVC also posted a video clip of Cason, a spunky brunette from Atlanta, on Facebook. And you know what, we feel about “spunky” people the same way as Lou Grant did on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

We hate spunky.

All we can say is she is from the South, like Robertson. She a pretty brunette, like Robertson. She’s a little manic, like Robertson. And she’s young, fresh out of college — unlike Robertson.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Courtney will “pop up” on QVC, rather than QVC.com, one day.

Lisa girlfriend, did you ever see “All About Eve”? You may be in for a bumpy ride.

Santa Was Good To QVC This Summer: Network Raked In $46.5 Million In Its ‘Christmas in July’ Event, Biggest One In Its 24-Year History

July 28, 2010

QVC head honcho Mike George is tickled pink that the network rang up $46.5 million in sales for its Christmas in July Event

QVC just observed its largest “Christmas in July” event in the company’s 24-year history, with more than $46.5 million in orders – representing a 14 percent increase over prior year summer Christmas shindig, the network said Wednesday.

QVC’s holiday weekend event kicked off early Friday evening, with special offers both on-air and online and continued all day Monday on QVC.com. The largest Christmas in July event in the company’s history gave viewers a head start on holiday shopping, offering everything from gift, decorating items and a sneak peek at some of the hot items for the upcoming season.

“We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response we received from our customers especially during these challenging economic times,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement. “The entire QVC team worked incredibly hard to provide viewers with a fun and entertaining event that offered unique and exclusive gift-giving items as well as holiday décor ideas at great values. All these elements combined represented the fuel that powered the successful event.”

What drove sales? Well, there was the debut of the Bethlehem Lights Ready Shape 6.5-foot Noble Fir Tree – a QVC exclusive to the end of the year – which sold out of the entire inventory of the season during this event. The tree featured new, patented Instant Power technology that eliminates cumbersome wires and has a hassle-free Ready Shape design that requires minimal fluffing.

In addition, some of the season’s hottest toys were also popular, including the Rubik’s Slide Signature Edition Electronic Handheld Game, which debuted on QVC and will be offered exclusively until the end of November; the debut of the Disney Princess & Me 18” Fashion Dolls and the Hello Kitty Plush, a QVC exclusive until the beginning of November.

“The QVC merchandising team worked closely with our brands to offer shoppers the most exciting items of the season,” Claire Watts, QVC’s president of U.S. Commerce, said in her canned statement. “Through their hard work, we not only featured exclusive products, but we were also the first to launch some of the most anticipated gifts of the year.”

Additional top selling brands included specialty gift bags, boxes and wrap from Isaac Mizrahi; home fragrance from Slatkin & Co; gourmet gifts from Kansas City Steak Co., Mrs. Prindable’s Apples, Harry London Gourmet Chocolate, Harry & David and Godiva.

QVC.com played an integral role in the July Christmas event. Throughout the weekend, items were offered online that were not featured on-air and for the first time the “Christmas in July” event continued all day Monday only on QVC.com.

HSN Lands Patents For HSN Shop By Remote And E-Commerce Options

July 28, 2010

HSN has secured two patents, including one for HSN Shop by Remote, which is in 30 million homes, and is the only U.S. service of its kind to allow customers to buy products with just a few clicks of their remote control, the company said Wednesday.

“This patent reinforces our position as a revolutionary force in television and retail as we continue to bring exciting innovations to our customers that enable them to shop whenever and however they choose,” John McDevitt, HSN’s vice president of advanced services, said in a canned statement.

The HSN patent entitled “System for Improved Interactive Television Processing” covers many of the proprietary aspects of the HSN Shop By Remote platform and provides for a transactional environment between a server and one or more display devices. Using the unique identity of a given customer operating a display device, the HSN Shop by Remote system generates and transmits customized transaction data, creating an individualized transactional experience.

In addition, HSN secured a patent called “Method and System for Improved E-Commerce Shopping.” The patent includes many of the proprietary features of the HSN.com platform that allows consumers to view multiple video product presentations.

The system provides both a live video feed as well as pre-recorded video segments that may be related to one or more product presentations.

“Consumer appetite for online video viewing and shopping options is rapidly expanding, creating tremendous opportunities for e-commerce providers to monetize these channels,” McDevitt said. “Our second patent helps protect our video and e-commerce technology and reaffirms our leadership position in transactional innovation.”

As part of its strategy to provide customers with access to great shopping experiences across multiple platforms, HSN has deployed the HSN Shop by Remote interactive television service and is also today the only retailer streaming live HD video on three screens: TV, online and mobile.

With a focus on capturing additional growth opportunities in mobile, HSN has over the last year launched an i-phone app, an android app and, most recently, a WAP site. And Aug. 1 HSN will launch HSN2, effectively becoming the only home shopping network with a second TV shopping channel. HSN2 will provide customers with more viewing and shopping options as it offers 24 hours of encore airings of HSN’s favorite brands, products and personalities.

Was ShopNBC Trying To Stick It To HSN By Selling The Exact Same Ring, Touted As ‘Rare’ By The Southern Channel, At A Cheaper Price?

July 28, 2010

HSN customers were not happy campers when they saw that ShopNBC was selling the same ring as HSN at a lower price

HSN customers are complaining that a carved coral rose ring the home shopping network offered as a Today’s Special July 15 was being sold the next day on rival network ShopNBC — at a lower price.

And to add insult to injury, the HSN ring is part of the popular “Rarities” line. How “rare” are your pieces when your competitor has them on soon after you — at a less expensive price point?

We’ve been watching electronic retailing for several decades now, and we can’t recall two home shopping channels hawking the exact same piece of jewelry.

Here’s the deal. Back on July 15 Carol Brodie, who we love, as HSN’s Today’s Special. It was a ring with peachy pink carved coral roses with white topaz accents, and its TS price was for $90.

We blogged about it.

Well, ShopNBC’s Gem Treasures line by in-house jewelry designer Chuck Clemency had what appears to be the exact same ring, with the carved coral roses.

The only difference between the two rings was that HSN’s ring used white topaz for accents, while ShopNBC’s had white zircons. Oh, and there was that price differential.

The ShopNBC ring went on sale shortly after the HSN one for just $79, compared to HSN’s TV price of $xx. Now, the coral ring is priced at $ 130 at HSN, and $xxx at ShopNBC.

HSN customers were the one’s that tipped us off to this situation. They posted complaints on HSN.com.

Here are some of them:

“Beautiful.. not sure it’s a rarity?…I was thrilled when I received this yesterday, it is truly beautiful piece of jewelry, looks very italian and feminine. Mine was very coral in color, a soft blush peachy pink. I love everything about it and will keep it, however I was a bit dissapointed to see the exact same ring on shopnbc.com (item 320614) for $78.62 (regular price $98.75). It is identical down to the carvings on the side the platinum plating, the white topaz. I thought Carol’s pieces were unique and designed by her, so this makes me doubt if what she is bringing is truly original or if hers was copied. I will keep it anyway, highly recommend!”

Blingrat (we love that name) wrote, “Too oversized to be wearable. And it is not exclusive! Saw it 2 days later on competitor’s channel at $21 less!”

Another poster said, “The ring is pretty but the color is not uniform and it is more expensive than else where. It is $ 78.96 on another network that is their regular price for this exact ring Not a Today’s special. I am thinking whether to keep it or return it.”

We asked HSN and ShopNBC on Monday what gives. That’s why we sat on the story.

ShopNBC said they were looking into it, but never got back to us. We can’t help but wonder, were the folks in Minnesota trying to stick it to HSN by putting their coral ring up for sale right after HSN has it as a TS?

HSN said that its ring had been in production for almost a year.

“Carol Brodie is constantly searching for exciting discoveries to bring to our customers and has had great success over the last year,” an HSN flak said. “Her carved coral and white topaz ring is rated as a ‘customer pick’ based upon online reviews. We look forward to introducing new additions from Carol in the coming months.”

Hmmmn, we are definately thinking that ShopNBC tried to screw HSN, by embarrassing the No. 2 home shopping channel, sticking a pin in the “Rarities” claim and showing it underprices HSN.

Financially Ailing ShopNBC Looking To Raise Up To $75 Million In Stock Offering

July 26, 2010

Financially strapped ShopNBC is looking to potentially raise $75 million through a stock sale.

ValueVision Media, parent of the No. 3 home shopping network, filed a so-called “shelf registration,” or S-3 form, Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the stock offering. ShopNBC declined to comment.

But in its filing the company said that if it doesn’t stem its losses, “We could reduce our operating cash resources to the point where we will not have sufficient liquidity to meet the ongoing cash commitments and obligations to continue operating.”

Through a shelf registration, a company can fulfill certain SEC-mandated registration-related procedures before offering shares to the public, which permits the company to go to market more quickly when they are ready to do the public offering. The company essentially puts stock shares “on a shelf” in case it needs to raise capital for any reason.
We have a history of losses and a high fixed cost operating base and may not be able to achieve or maintain profitable operations in the future.

In its filing, ShopNBC said it had operating losses of about $41.2 million, $88.5 million and $23.1 million in the years ended January 30, 2010 (“fiscal 2009”), January 31, 2009 (“fiscal 2008”) and February 2, 2008 (“fiscal 2007”), respectively.

It also reported a net loss of $42 in fiscal 2009 and a net loss in fiscal 2008 of $97.8 million.

“While we reported net income of $22.5 million in fiscal 2007, this was due to the $40.2 million pre-tax gain we recorded on the sale of our equity interest in Ralph Lauren Media, LLC, operator of the polo.com website,” the S-3 filing said. “There is no assurance that we will be able to achieve or maintain profitable operations in future fiscal years.”

ShopNBC said it has high fixed costs, primarily driven by fixed fees on the merchandise it sells to cable and satellite operators in exchange for distribution.

“In order to operate on a profitable basis, we must reach and maintain sufficient annual sales revenues to cover our high fixed cost base and/or negotiate a reduction in this cost structure,” the filing said. “If our sales levels are not sufficient to cover our operating expenses, our ability to reduce operating expenses in the near term will be limited by the fixed cost base. In that case, our earnings, cash balance and growth prospects could be materially and adversely affected.”

ShopNBC reported that it has limited unrestricted cash to fund its operations, $20.9 million as of May 1, 2010 (with an additional $4.9 million of cash that is restricted and used to secure letters of credit and similar arrangements).

“We expect to use our cash to fund any further operating losses, to finance our working capital requirements and to make necessary capital expenditures in order to operate our business,” the filing said. “We also have significant future commitments for our cash, primarily payments for our cable and satellite program distribution obligations and redemption of our Series B Preferred Stock. If our vendors or service providers were to demand a shift from our current payment terms to upfront prepayments or require cash reserves, this will have a significant adverse impact.”

It appears that ShopNBC’s shareholder GE Capital Equity will have to approve the offering, according to an 8-K that the network filed with the SEC in June.

“On June 10, 2010, our board of directors authorized the filing of a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission covering the sale by our company of up to $75,000,000 of securities, including common stock, preferred stock, warrants, units and stock purchase contracts,” the company said in that filing. “Our shareholders agreement with GE Capital Equity Investments, Inc. (“GE Equity”) and NBC Universal, Inc. require the consent of GE Equity in order for our company to issue new equity securities and to incur indebtedness above certain thresholds, and there can be no assurance that we would receive such consent if we made a request.”

ShopNBC’s largest shareholder, NBC Universal, back on June 24 decided not to sell its 6,452,194 shares in the home shopping network “due to prevailing prices.”