Archive for July, 2014

QVC’s Parent Sells E-Commerce Unit To Florist FTD

July 31, 2014

QVC’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., did a big deal Wednesday. And it smells like a good one.

Liberty and FTD Cos. struck an agreement for the floral company to buy Liberty’s Provide Commerce floral and gifting businesses.

Under the terms of the $430 million transaction, Liberty will receive 10.2 million shares of FTD common stock representing 35 percent of the combined company and $121 million in cash. FTD and Liberty expect to complete the transaction by the end of the year.

How does this affect QVC?

Liberty plans to create two different tracking stocks, namely QVC Group as the umbrella for the home shopping network,Liberty’s stake in HSN; and Liberty Digital Commerce to represent e-commerce businesses such as Provide Commerce.

That stock split will now be delayed.

“Liberty Interactive still plans to create the QVC Group tracking stock, which will be comprised of its interests in QVC and HSN,” the company said in a press release.

“In light of the pending Provide Commerce transaction, and other factors, Liberty is reevaluating the optimal structure and best alignment of the Liberty Digital Commerce Group assets. As a result, the timing of the transition to the QVC Group has been delayed.”

Here is part of Liberty’s statement on its FTD deal.

The strategic combination of FTD’s brand and floral network with the Provide Commerce collection of established and highly recognizable consumer gifting e-commerce brands, which include ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries and Personal Creations, will further FTD’s vision to become the world’s leading and most trusted floral and gifting company.

The transaction will unite two highly complementary businesses, generate material cost synergies and create a team with “best-in-class” operating strategies.

Together, FTD and Provide Commerce, each with over $600 million in annual revenues, will offer consumers innovative and expansive floral and gift products and an enhanced shopping experience.

The combined company will also allow FTD to provide greater support for the overall floral industry by expanding resources to create new programs and services to support member florists in their local businesses.

“This transaction provides the opportunity to create significant value for our stockholders and offers immediate benefits for consumers and our premier network of member florists. The combination of these businesses will expand the breadth of our brands, provide opportunities to further diversify our revenue streams and open up additional avenues for growth and innovation,” said Robert S. Apatoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of FTD.

“We expect the combination with Provide Commerce’s highly recognizable and successful portfolio of brands to enhance our already robust consumer product offerings. In addition, we expect the transaction will provide us with greater resources to further develop new product and service categories and broaden our consumer demographic through complementary customer bases. We are excited about the opportunities this combination will create for consumers, member florists and our stockholders.”

“We are excited to become the largest shareholder in the complementary businesses of Provide Commerce and FTD,” said Gregory B. Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty. “FTD has an extensive florist network while Provide Commerce has a proven ability to source their flowers directly from top growers. The combined company will be able to offer comprehensive and unique gifting services in the U.S. and around the world.”

“FTD and Provide Commerce share a common mission and vision,” said Chris Shimojima, CEO of Provide Commerce. “Together we will create outstanding and delighting gifting experiences for our customers for all of life’s most important moments.”

Summary of Strategic and Financial Benefits

The transaction is expected to create one of the most diversified, established and trusted floral and gifting companies in the world. FTD believes the combination will provide the following strategic and financial benefits:

Deepens Consumer Gifting Category: The combination of Provide Commerce’s collection of respected and highly recognizable e-commerce brands, including ProFlowers, Shari’s Berries and Personal Creations, with FTD’s iconic brands, FTD and Interflora, and Mercury Man logo is expected to enhance FTD’s already robust consumer floral and gifting category.

Strengthens Floral Network: The expected efficiencies and greater resources of this combination will enable FTD to further invest in new products, services and technology that are expected to directly benefit its vast network of florists and the floral industry as a whole.

Enhances Consumer Shopping Experience: FTD will immediately be able to offer a wider selection of floral and gifting products, providing consumers with greater convenience and choice.

Provides Significant Cost Synergies: The combination is expected to generate more than $25 million in annual synergies within 36 months of closing, with a goal of creating incremental value for FTD stockholders over time.

Thursday Expect A Shaq Attack At HSN

July 31, 2014

Yikes! Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal has joined the HSN family, set to appear on-air for Monster Products Thursday.

He will present two products at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Monster Superstar Speaker, at $129.95, is the world’s smallest audiophile Bluetooth speaker. This pocket-sized speaker features big sound, is lightweight and can fit into your pocket, briefcase, or backpack.

The speaker has a built-in microphone for crystal clear speaker phone conversations, and pairs with Bluetooth 4.0.

“This splash resistant speaker is really the party that fits in your pocket,” HSN said in a press release Wednesday.

Yeah, right.

The Monster Powercard, at 39.95, is a credit-card sized smartphone charger. It is super slim and can fit in your wallet.

The Powercard has a universal USB port to charge anything from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy.

HSN’s Joy Mangano Sells Record-Breaking 216,000 Pillow Sets

July 29, 2014

We posted a blog awhile ago when HSN mother of invention Joy Mangano introduced her line of pillows. We got a lot of comments from customers who bought them, and hated them. And a lot of people may be about to be disappointed.

Mangano broke a record on HSN this weekend when she brought back her Comfort and Joy MemoryCloud pillows and sold nearly half a million of them, or over 216,000 sets, the network said Monday.

That performance shattered HSN’s previous record, also set by Mangano, for the most units of a single item sold in a single day on the home shopping network.

Mangano beat her own prior record of 174,000 units sold in one day of her Forever Fragrant Odor Eliminating, which she set in 2010.

JOY

“All I can say is WOW!” Mangano said in a canned statement. “This was a hallmark day in my career and I am blessed to be able to share my products through the power of HSN. I pride myself on offering products designed to make people’s lives a little easier. Days like these make me so thankful for the incredible loyalty my fans have shown me over the years.”

The “Summer Comfort Home” event was part of HSN’s month-long 37th birthday celebration, which also featured collections rom two Bravo “Housewives”: NeNe Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Melissa Gorga of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

At the gym, when we’re on the elliptical machine, we often watch Bravo at night. Just last week we were watching “Housewives of New Jersey” and saw Gorga wearing a striking gold collar-type necklace.

Well, it is from her HSN jewelry line, the “Grecian Goddess” collar, for $30, item number 354-423.

http://www.hsn.com/products/melissa-gorga-grecian-goddess-17-12-collar-necklace/7471543

We were unimpressed with NeNe’s cold-shoulder top.

Alex And Ani Bracelets Come To QVC Saturday

July 24, 2014

A red-hot jewelry brand is coming to QVC Saturday for its super sale at the Hamptons, which will benefit ovarian cancer research. It’s Alex and Ani, the American designers of those ubiquitous expandable metal bracelets that young women are piling on their wrists.

We actually have four of the bangles, three in brushed gold and one in silver. We got our first one from our friend Diane as a birthday gift more than a year ago, before the bracelets with their dangling charges showed up everywhere and on everyone.

Some may say the trend has peaked, but we still like the bangles, so lightweight that you forget you’re wearing them.

You can find a large selection at Nordstom, and TJ Maxx has also had them at times at a nice discount.

For its Saturday sale, QVC is promising to offer merchandise at 50 percent its MSP, so we’re waiting to see what the Alex and Ani bracelets sell for. They normally retail at $30 to $40.

Interesting enough, QVC is also hawking its own knock-off of the Alex and Ani bracelets. The home shopping network calls its version “The Extraordinary Life Expandable Charm Bangle,” item No. J296024. Unlike the Alex and Ani originals, which are made of base metal, QVC’s version is sterling silver.

And even made of that precious metal, it’s on advance order for $40, just $10 more than the base metal originals.

As with the Alex and Ani bracelets, you have a choice of QVC bracelets with different charms that have inspirational messages.

QVC, Ovarian Cancer Research Team Up On Hamptons Sale

July 23, 2014

QVC and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) are joining forces once again for “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE,” an annual “designer charity sale” scheduled to be broadcast live from the Hamptons this Saturday.

During the two-hour shopping gala, premier fashion, beauty, jewelry and more will be offered for half the manufacturer’s suggested retail price with 80 percent of the purchase price of donated merchandise benefiting OCRF’s research programs.

These proceeds will also benefit Woman to Woman, OCRF’s nationwide patient program designed to support women currently undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancers.

The live broadcast will feature a variety of designer deals from top brands including philosophy, Alex and Ani, JAI by John Hardy, Amrita Singh, Honora, orYANYand many others.

The “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” broadcast will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the soiree with celebrity interviews straight from the red carpet.

To help promote QVC’s efforts, Kelly Ripa, a longtime supporter of OCRF’s Super Saturday and co-star of “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” is featured in both the print and television public service announcements for “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE.” Ripa will also lend her voice once again as the host of the charitable event.

“QVC is dedicated to spreading OCRF’s message in the hopes that we will one day find a way to eradicate this deadly disease,” QVC U.S. CEO Claire Watts said. “This year, we are excited to incorporate our new toGather initiative which makes it easier than ever to raise awareness for such an important cause.”

Adding a new twist to the power of social media, toGather, QVC’s discovery shopping experience, and Lisa Robertson, QVC host of the “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” broadcast, will launch a new Super Saturday collection featuring this year’s designer goods. Shoppers will be encouraged to “Heart for Hope” by hearting and sharing items and social stickers to help spread awareness for ovarian cancer research.

“Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest diseases women face, and more needs to be done to raise awareness and funds to support both research and women undergoing treatment,” said Audra Moran, CEO, OCRF. “QVC’s Super Saturday broadcast has been a tremendous help in spreading OCRF’s message beyond the Hamptons community and into millions of homes across the U.S.”

HSN To Report Second-Quarter Earnings Aug. 7

July 18, 2014

HSN Inc. will release its second-quarter results on Aug. 7 at 8 a.m. before the market opens, the home shopping network said Thursday.

CEO Mindy Grossman and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Judy Schmeling will hold a conference call at 9 a.m. to review the results.

Those interested in participating in the conference call should dial 877-307-0246 or 224-357-2394 at least five minutes prior to the call.

There will also be a simultaneous audio webcast available via the company’s website at http://www.hsni.com.

A replay of the conference call can be accessed until Aug. 21 by dialing 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406, plus the pass code 72340808, and will also be hosted on the company’s website for a limited time.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman Turned Down J.C. Penney Slot

July 15, 2014

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman had a chance to become the head of J.C. Penney Co., but couldn’t come to terms with the troubled brick-and-mortar retailer, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/hsn-chief-turned-down-top-job-at-j-c-penney-1405263904?mod=asia_home

The headline on the story was “Penney CEO Search Drags On: Board Works Through Small Slate After HSN’s Mindy Grossman Turns Down Job.”

Mindy Grossman

Mindy Grossman

The Journal reported that Grossman had “advanced” talks to take the Penney job, but that those chats broke down “after both sides couldn’t agree on terms.”

As for Grossman, The Journal was very flattering to her. It said that Grossman, a former Nike executive, was “seen as a rising star.” In 2012, Grossman was approached by Avon Products about becoming its CEO, The Journal reported.

The financial paper also said that Grossman “is credited with crafting a more upscale image for the Home Shopping Network.” It’s HSN, dummies!

Hip-Hop Star Nicki Minaj Hops Onto HSN

July 11, 2014

Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj, on her best behavior and without the rainbow hair and booty-shaking, is on HSN right now, touting her new perfume.

Host Colleen Lopez is fawning all over her, but we guess that’s her job.

Here is the official press release on Ms. Minaj:

Nicki Minaj To Premiere Latest Fragrance During Live HSN Debut Tonight At 12:01 A.M. (EDT)

— International Superstar to Unveil MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition and Give Fans Sneak Preview of New Onika Fragrance as part of HSN’s Month-long Birthday Celebration —

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Fashion and beauty vanguard, global entertainer and multi-platinum recording artist Nicki Minaj has partnered with leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer HSN to launch her latest fragrance, MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition tonight! The superstar will unveil her new Eau de Parfum exclusively on HSN during her first-ever live appearance July 11 at 12:01 A.M. (EDT).

Also during the debut, Minaj will give an exclusive sneak-peek of Onika Nicki Minaj, the next endeavor in her fragrance collection, making this live appearance an absolute must-see event.

“I am so excited to debut my new fragrance on HSN for the first time. I adore my fans and want to share this experience in a unique way – live, on TV. I hope this fragrance inspires my Barbz to feel positive and fearless. Every girl loves the thrill of adventure. Exotic to me, represents that crazy feeling you get from taking a risk and getting out of your comfort zone.” – Nicki Minaj

THE INSPIRATION

Drawing upon her glamorous evolution, MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition is the next doll to reign in Minaj’s fragrance empire, bringing new excitement to the MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj brand. MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition inspires Minaj’s fans to bring out their outrageous side, and have fun with life – especially by taking risks, trying new things, and traveling outside their comfort zone.

An upbeat celebration for life and spontaneity, this brand inspires Minaj’s fans to feel exotic, flirtatious and glamorous. EXOTIC represents the outrageous experience of trying something new, FLIRTATIOUS represents a girl’s bright and breezy readiness to flirt when she knows she’s cute and stylish, and GLAMOROUS is the positive and fearless commitment to oneself.

THE FRAGRANCE

An exotic fruity floral musk that reigns with mouthwatering fruits and a luscious floralcy, glimmering in the sensuous warmth of sheer musk.

TOP

The fragrance opens with the bright, sparkling nectar of Bergamot, Orange Squeeze and Mango for a luscious, mouthwatering sensation.

HEART
The heart blossoms with Tiger Lilies, as Lavender Blossom and Dewy Petals wrap the senses in a floral oasis.

DRYDOWN
The sensuous drydown glows with the exotic warmth of Creamy Musk and Cedar Wood.

THE PACKAGING
Minaj’s transformation into a spontaneous, blonde bombshell takes center stage in the MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition design. Donning a blonde, wavy wig and a playful, black bustier, the newest “doll” in Minaj’s fragrance portfolio is vibrant, magnetic and full-on glam.

HSN US EXCLUSIVE OFFER WITH BONUS GIFT*
Eau de Parfum Spray, 3.4 fl. oz $63.50

*With purchase of the MINAJESTY Nicki Minaj Exotic Edition Eau de Parfum Spray 3.4 fl. oz., fans will also receive TWO EXCLUSIVE items from Minaj’s never-before-seen, upcoming fragrance:

Onika Nicki Minaj Eau de Parfum Rollerball .34 fl. oz.
Onika Nicki Minaj Scented Wardrobe Freshener

Smashbox Cosmetics Skips From QVC To HSN

July 10, 2014

Well butter our buns and call us a biscuit: Smashbox Cosmetics has defected from QVC to HSN!

Well, let’s put it this way: Smashbox will now be selling its wares on HSN. Whether that was the cosmetics maker’s decision, or QVC didn’t renew its deal with it, is unknown. But HSN trumpeted the company’s debut on its airwaves Wednesday.

Smashbox will premiere today, Thursday, at 7 p.m., and again throughout the day on July 14 and 15.

“Smashbox Cosmetics is a leader within the makeup industry and I am thrilled to welcome them to our growing portfolio of top-tier beauty brands,” Anne Martin-Vachon, HSN’s chief merchandising officer, said in a canned statement.

“Our customers are extremely savvy when it comes to beauty and constantly searching for products that will help them achieve their perfect look. I am confident they will find it when Smashbox debuts on HSN in July.”

Smashbox will give HSN shoppers a two-day exclusive preview of its new Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer and Be Legendary Longwear Lip Lacquer on July 14 as part of HSN’s month-long 37th birthday celebration.

“HSN is an incredible platform in the beauty industry and our new partnership creates endless possibilities to grow our business,” said Smashbox founder Davis Factor. “We’ve admired HSN for many years and look forward to building a robust relationship while sharing the Smashbox story with customers nationwide.”

“Admired HSN”? Is that a dig at QVC?

HSN will offer an assortment of products at launch, featuring Smashbox favorites, exclusive configurations and exciting new additions to the line.

The full launch assortment will include:

Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer ($39)
Be Legendary Longwear Lip Lacquer ($24)
Liquid Halo Foundation with Travel Classic Primer ($42)
Full Exposure Mascara Duo ($24.50)
Always Sharp Eyeliner Duo ($30)
Always Sharp Lip Liner ($20)
Full Exposure Shadow Palette ($49)
Brow Tech To Go ($27)
Photo Finish 24-hr Eye Shadow Primer ($20)
Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder ($59)
Telephoto Brush ($39)

Marketing Guru Bill Brand Promoted To HSN President

July 9, 2014

Our buddy Bill Brand, an HSN honcho, got a big promotion Tuesday. Hope Mindy is giving you a big raise, friend.

Brand, 48, was named president of the home shopping channel HSN, effective immediately. Brand will also keep his post as chief marketing officer of HSN Inc., the parent of the TV network and the Cornerstone unit.

Brand, who is also an executive officer of the company, will continue to report directly to HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman.

Mindy Grossman, you-know-who and Bill Brand

Mindy Grossman, you-know-who and Bill Brand

“Eight years ago, Bill was the first person I hired to join the HSN team and has been one of my key partners in transforming HSN into the full network of experiences that it is today,” Grossman said in a canned statement.

“As we continue to innovate, collaborate and leverage the power of technology to create a compelling experience for consumers, Bill’s leadership, talent and unbridled passion will help ensure HSN remains the leading experiential retailer.”

Brand, a veteran of Lifetime Television and VH1, created an integration strategy at HSN that “has resulted in unique partnerships with major film studios, the production of world-class events, the launch of global brands and innovative content across all our platforms,” the network said in a press release.

“Recent partnerships such as Univision, AOL, Disney and Toyota as well as new marketing and CRM capabilities have all contributed to HSN’s highest customer file growth, now exceeding 5 million active customers,” the statement said.

In his new role as president, Brand will look to forge new strategies for the growth of HSN as well as continue to position HSNi as a leader in the retail industry.

He will assume responsibility of merchandising, programming, planning and HSN2 in addition to his current responsibilities.

“HSN is uniquely positioned to transform the retail industry by creating new ways for consumers to experience and interact with their favorite brands through content and commerce across all platforms,” Brand said.

“I am extremely gratified to lead a world-class team at HSN and continue to work with Mindy Grossman and our exceptional partners to develop inspiring events for our loyal television, online, social and mobile customers.”

Brand joined HSN in 2006 as senior vice president of Programming. He has continually taken on increased areas of responsibility, adding marketing and new business development followed by TV operations, creative and digital. In 2013, Brand was promoted to chief marketing and business development officer of HSNi.

Prior to joining HSN, Brand spent more than 10 years holding senior executive positions in programming with Lifetime and VH1, contributing to rapid growth and development of both entertainment networks.

He spent the first decade of his career in news management at regional television stations nationwide and has received numerous awards for his work in journalism.