Archive for May, 2012

Queen Latifah The Latest HSN Vendor To Be In A Pickle, New York Post Claims

May 31, 2012

It seems like HSN vendors are the favorite topic of the New York Post this week. First it was Mary J. Blige, then it was Queen Latifah.

On Wednesday the tabloid published a story with the headline “Latifah Weight Gain$: Burger Flipper.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/latifah_weight_gain_HfjNLc5BUPKxJ7ioQvW4gP

According to the Post, Latifah tried to hide her involvement with the Fatburger chain because was acting as a spokeswoman for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program at the time. She and a partner wanted to open two Fatburger franchises in Miami, according to the Post.

Fatburgers are not exactly diet food, folks.

Latifah does a line of clothes and accessories for HSN.

A few days ago, the Post did a story that alleged that Blige had failed to donate money from the sale of her perfume, My Life, on HSN to her charity for women.

Tsk, tsk

Mary J. Blige Charity Donations From HSN Perfume Sales Have Wafted Away, New York Post Claims

May 28, 2012

Singer Mary J. Blige, who broke sales records when she debuted per perfume “My Life” on HSN, is in a lot of hot water. Part of those fragrance sales were supposed to go to Blige’s charity, but it doesn’t look like they ever made it there.

The New York Post reported Sunday that Blige’s charity for women has “hundreds of thousands of dollars” unaccounted for; hasn’t filed all its federal tax returns; and has been named a defendant in two lawsuits.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/mary_bilk_charity_sham_4xZmMuES6vfKT21oIq7TjI

The Post story talks about how part of the sales from “My Life” were supposed to go to her charity, but now those donations are missing.

“She (Blige) was promoting her fragrance, My life, which sold a record 60,000 bottles on the Home Shopping Network during its six-hour debut in 2010,” The Post wrote. “One dollar from each sale was supposed to benefit The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, known as FAWN.”

But according to The Post, “Where the $60,000 from the fragrance sale and other donations went is a mystery. The group’s 2010 annual report has nothing on its finances for that year.”

The lawsuits against the charity were filed by a group of musicians, who allege they were stiffed for $167,000 after performing at a gala; and by TD Bank, for a $250,000 loan it extended and was never repaid.

Not cool, Mary J.

Country Hunk Josh Turner Performs Live On HSN Friday Night

May 22, 2012

Just a reminder: Country music heartthrob Josh Turner will be performing live on HSN this Friday. The fun starts at 9 p.m.

OK, we admit it: We’d never heard of him. But then, we are not country music fans. But we checked out his photo on HSN.com, and he’s pretty easy on the eyes. We may become fans.

http://www.hsn.com/josh-turner-landing-page_at-3111_xa.aspx?o=!HPSNL1&cm_re=SubNavHP*Concert_JoshTurner_2012_0518_5*learnmore&cm_sp=subnav-_-Concert_JoshTurner-_-shopNow

HSN put out a press release on Turner’s concert April 25. He’s touting his new CD, “Punching Bag.”

http://www.hsni.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=666890

We’re Going With ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Instead Of HSN’s Nicky Butler Tonight

May 21, 2012

Call us snobs, but we can’t get excited over a Nicky Butler HSN Today’s Special when it’s made of bronze.

Normally, we don’t miss Nicky when he is on with his gorgeous jewelry, but we can’t go for this. Whether silver is pricey now or not, we don’t care. That’s what we want our jewelry made of.

The TS, by the way, is a gem solitaire bronze seal-design ring for $50. It comes in moonstone (Nicky’s favorite stone), drusy and red ruby.

We’re going to have to read “Fifty Shades of Grey” instead of Nicky tonight. That should make for some sweet dreams

ShopNBC Honcho Keith Stewart ‘Splains 5 Percent Drop In Sales

May 16, 2012

It was not a good first quarter for ValueVision, better known as ShopNBC.

The No. 3 home shopping network Wednesday reported net sales of $136.5 million, a 4.9 percent decrease versus the year-ago period.

Internet net sales slipped 2.8 percent, while penetration increased 100 basis points to 45.9 percent.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart had plenty of ‘splaining to do.

“While we are disappointed in our consumer electronics performance, we are encouraged by the improved results from our other product categories,” he said in a canned statement.”We do not foresee a significant improvement in consumer electronics performance in the upcoming quarters.”

He went on, “However, in the final three quarters of last year, our consumer electronics sales mix moderated, making the comparative performance of this category less impactful to overall results going forward. Although we will continue our efforts to improve consumer electronics performance, we are focused on further broadening our other higher-margin businesses while investing in new businesses to grow our product mix and customer base.”

And on: “We are pleased with our strong net shipped unit growth in the quarter, reflecting lower average price points and broader customer reach. We were also able to maintain healthy gross margin levels in Q1 despite an increase in shipping and other promotional initiatives.”

And on: “We continue to improve our performance across a number of areas, though the company’s turnaround is still a work in process. We remain focused on increasing top line sales through solid merchandise execution and customer experience initiatives. These efforts aim to further improve retention rates and ultimately drive higher sales per customer. With an experienced multichannel team in place, I remain confident in our ability to execute on those growth initiatives.”

ShopNBNC did cut its losses in the quarter. It lost $8.7 million, compared with $28.9 million in the year-ago period.

Combined sales in jewelry, watches, health, beauty, home, fashion and accessories actually jumped in the double-digits, up 12 percent in the first quarter versus a year ago.

ShopNBC said that as anticipated, sales gains in these categories were offset by consumer electronics sales, which dropped a drastic 76 percent in the period.

The average price point in the quarter decreased 18.8 percent to $95 due to a higher concentration of product sales in beauty, fashion and home combined with the decline in consumer electronics. Net units shipped increased 17.8 percent in the quarter versus last year’s same period.

Gross profit increased 20 bps to 37.4 percent. This was driven by a favorable product mix, partially offset by increased shipping and handling promotions.

Gross margin dollars decreased 4.4 percent compared with the prior year, reflecting lower sales.

Adjusted EBITDA in the quarter was negative $1 million compared to positive $3.1 million in the same period last year.

“We made solid progress on the balance sheet in Q1’12. As of April 28, our cash position, including restricted cash, was $45 million compared to $35 million at Jan. 28,” ShopNBC executive vice president and chief financial officer William McGrath said. “The increase in cash reflects the seasonal timing of cash receipts from fourth-quarter receivables as well as disciplined management of other working capital components within the quarter.”

In the first quarter, ShopNBC secured a $40 million revolving credit facility with PNC Bank. The facility bears interest at a rate of LIBOR plus 3 percent. During the first quarter, ValueVision utilized the new credit facility to retire its 11%, $25 million term loan and paid a $12.5 million deferred obligation to a TV distribution provider.

These actions, according to ShopNBC, improved its financial liquidity and reduced future annual interest expense. As a result of the early retirement of the $25 million term loan, ShopNBC incurred a pre-payment penalty of $500,000.

The home shopping network also recorded a non-cash interest charge of $2.4 million related to the write off of previously capitalized debt financing costs associated with the $25 million term loan.

“Looking ahead, the impact of Consumer Electronics on our quarterly comparisons should diminish for the balance of 2012 and thereafter,” McGrath said. “Moving into next year, the recent renewal of our largest TV distribution relationship will also benefit performance by providing $15 million in annual cost savings starting January 2013.”

‘Clean House’ Vet Niecy Nash Tries To Clean Up On HSN

May 16, 2012

How come HSN and QVC haven’t approached us about doing a jewelry line? Was it that story that we did about Mike George’s compensation? It seems like everyone else and their mother is doing a home shopping collection.

Case in point: It’s news to us, unless we wrote about it and forgot about it, but actress-TV host Niecy Nash has a jewelry line that premiered on HSN Tuesday.

http://www.hsn.com/cnt/hsntv/prod_review/default.aspx?date=05/15/2012&btime=10&etime=11&nvsrc=tds&srp=false&cm_re=LN*productreview*na

We didn’t see the HSN segment, but we looked at Nash’s fashion jewelry online. We like big and bold, but some of the pieces were a little out there even for us. All the pieces had a flower motif, with bracelets, earrings, rings and even some cute belts. There was also a feather flower pin.

“Rarely seen without a bloom in her hair, actress Niecy Nash brings her love of flowers to HSN,” the home shopping network’s website said. “Her new collection of fashion jewelry and accessory must-haves reflects the comedian’s upbeat and fun attitude.”

We know Nash from her work on Style Network’s “Clean House,” as well as a Celebrity Panelist on CBS’s “The Insider.”

She also played officer Raineesha Williams on the hilarious Comedy Central hit, “Reno 911!,” and was in the Fox comedy flop “Do Not Disturb,” with Jerry O’Connell, in 2008.

QVC’s Official Word On The Beach Boys’ Live Concert

May 16, 2012

It’s late, we already wrote it, but here is QVC’s press release on the Beach Boys live concert tomorrow.

50 AND FABULOUS!
The Beach Boys to Celebrate 50th Anniversary with QVC Performance

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (May 15, 2012) – As one of the most highly anticipated reunions in rock ‘n’ roll history, The Beach Boys have embarked on a 50th Anniversary adventure, including a special live appearance on QVC.

Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks are scheduled to head to QVC Wednesday, May 16 at 7 PM (ET) to unveil their much-anticipated new Capitol/EMI release, That’s Why God Made The Radio. During The Beach Boys’ QSessions Live broadcast, fans will have the opportunity to order the new album, which has been specially packaged just for QVC shoppers with a greatest hits bonus CD, nearly three weeks before the album’s June 5 release date.

America’s first pop band to reach the 50-year milestone, The Beach Boys recorded That’s Why God Made The Radio at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles. The band’s 29th studio album (including 2011’s The SMiLE Sessions) is the first in decades to feature all of the band’s surviving original members and was produced by Wilson and executive produced by Love. The album’s 12 new songs illustrate The Beach Boys’ unique and evocative West Coast story with the band’s timeless signature sound. For more information about The Beach Boys’ new album and 50th Anniversary Tour, visit http://www.thebeachboys.com.

“As one of the most iconic and influential groups of our time, it is an honor to host The Beach Boys here at QVC,” said John Kelly, vice president of merchandising for QVC. “This show promises to be a memorable one as we not only offer this highly anticipated new release before it hits stores but also give fans the opportunity to hear from the artists themselves about the collaboration behind this project.”

The bonus CD, which will only be available to QVC shoppers, will feature an eclectic assortment of The Beach Boys’ greatest hits. That’s Why God Made The Radio with bonus CD will be available starting May 16 at QVC.com or (800) 345-1515, while supplies last.

Beach Boys Surf Onto QVC Wednesday For Live Concert: That’s Why God Made The Home Shopping Networks

May 15, 2012

The Beach Boys will be performing live on QVC Wednesday, touting their new CD.

The “Boys” will be doing a “Q Sessions Live” concert from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., promoting “That’s Why God Made the Radio.”

But why did God make home shopping networks? To give artists a new platform to hawk their albums?

Here’s the blurb from QVC.com:

In 2012, the Beach Boys, one of the world’s most legendary bands in pop music history, will reunite for a global 50th Anniversary Celebration. The Beach Boys are the first American pop band to celebrate the 50-year milestone and in honor of the occasion, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks have come together for a new studio album and commemorative catalog releases.

For five decades, the Beach Boys created music that has become the world’s soundtrack to summer, earning the band 4 No. 1 singles and 36 Top 40 U.S. hits.

You can catch the good vibrations with a very special Q Sessions Live to introduce the Beach Boys newest album, ‘That’s Why God Made the Radio,’ set to release on 6/5/12.

So don’t miss your opportunity to pre-order this highly anticipated new album on QVC before it hits the stores! We’ll also offer an exclusive configuration of their Greatest Hits compilation that will only be available on QVC.

The $19.98 package from QVC includes: “That’s Why God Made the Radio” CD and bonus “Greatest Hits” CD

QVC To Hold Investor Meeting Webcast, Hot Damn!

May 15, 2012

QVC will webcast a QVC Investor Meeting May 24, with presentations beginning at 9:45 a.m., the home shopping network said Monday.

During these presentations, observations may be made regarding the company’s financial performance and outlook and the proposed creation of the Liberty Ventures tracking stock.

The presentation will be broadcast live via the Internet.

All interested persons should visit the Liberty Interactive Corp. website at http://www.libertyinteractive.com/events to register for the webcast. An archive of the webcast will also be available on this website for 30 days.

Liberty Interactive (Nasdaq: LINTA, LINTB) owns interests in a broad range video and online commerce businesses including QVC, Provide Commerce, Backcountry.com, Celebrate Interactive, Bodybuilding.com, Evite, Expedia and TripAdvisor.

QVC Global Growth Drives New Europe Leadership Structure, So It Says

May 11, 2012

Here’s full the scoop on Steve Hofmann’s promotion to QVC Europe.

West Chester, Pa. (May 10, 2012) – QVC, a global leader in video and e-commerce retail, announced today the promotion of Steve Hofmann to CEO of QVC Europe, reporting to QVC President and CEO, Mike George.

In this newly created position, Hofmann will oversee QVC’s European markets including the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy and accelerate growth opportunities throughout Europe.

He maintains his current responsibility as CEO of QVC Italy and will continue to be based in Milan. Also announced today are the promotions of Gregg Bertoni to Chief Merchandising Officer, QVC Italy, and Paolo Penati to Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, QVC Italy.

“QVC is pursuing more global initiatives and we are evolving our leadership structure to meet the growing scale of our business,” said QVC President and CEO Mike George. “Steve’s commitment to excellence and innovation and his focus on building engaged and high-performing teams will be tremendous assets as he expands into this new leadership role.”

Hofmann has led business development and QVC customer growth throughout Europe, most notably establishing QVC Italy, which he helped to successfully launch in Oct. 2010. Under Hofmann’s leadership, QVC Italy boasts an increasingly loyal customer base that rivals all QVC operations for its high repeat purchase rates and outstanding customer satisfaction.

In his new role, Hofmann will provide business oversight, coordination and support to each of QVC’s European markets and best practice sharing among QVC’s European, US and Asian teams. He will help lead business building initiatives, such as QVC’s new Europe-wide technology platform, and will be responsible for pursuing new market expansion opportunities throughout Europe.

Hofmann first joined QVC as Director of Commerce of QVC UK in 2007 and was promoted to UK CEO in January 2008, before moving on to his current position as CEO of QVC Italy. Before joining QVC, Hofmann held leadership roles at Jupiter Shop Channel and Jupiter TV in Japan and with CNBC Asia.

QVC also announced the following promotions:

Gregg Bertoni is promoted to Chief Merchandising Officer of QVC Italy. In his new role, Bertoni will be responsible for Marketing, TV Operations and TV Sales, in addition to his current responsibilities across Merchandising, Planning, Programming, e-commerce and Quality Assurance.

Paolo Penati is promoted to Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, QVC Italy. In his new role, Penati will help maintain QVC’s focus on operational excellence, while also leading investment opportunities for long-term growth. Penati will be responsible for Call Center, Logistics and IT operations in Italy, in addition to his current responsibilities for QVC’s Finance team.

“QVC’s global business is structured to drive local engagement in individual countries, supported by the power of our global infrastructure,” said George. “This new leadership embraces the best of local and global business. I’m confident that Steve, Paolo and Gregg will continue the great momentum we are enjoying in Italy, and throughout our global markets, and will help take QVC’s business in Europe to new levels of success.”