Archive for May, 2015

‘ET’ Host Nancy O’Dell Coming To Evine Live With Clothing Line

May 28, 2015

“Entertainment Tonight” anchor Nancy Odell is the celeb du jour who is bringing a clothing line to a home shopping network: She’s coming to Evine Live, Women’s Wear Daily reports.

http://wwd.com/retail-news/direct-internet-catalogue/evine-nancy-odell-fashion-line-10136384/

We don’t buy what Evine Live CEO Mark Bozek said in the interview, namely, “Gone are the days when you can just be famous and go on television to sell works. Now you have to be passionate about the product. The customer can see through that if you’re not. Nancy has a great sense of style and is passionate about design and fashion. That’s really what we look for when we launch a personality-based brand.”

What we are hearing from our readers is that they want quality fashions with a consistent fit at a reasonable price. They seem very wary of garments sold by celebrities.

The collection will debut in September, and like every star, O’Dell claims she is intimately involved in designing the pieces. She told WWD that she plans to wear the clothes on “ET” and that viewers often ask her where she gets her wardrobe.

The price points on her Evine Live line range from $49 to $99.

Evine Live Discloses Severance Packages For Terminated Executives

May 28, 2015

Evine Live revealed the details of its severance agreements with several key executives who were terminated in a filing with federal regulators Wednesday.

Here is what the No. 3 home shopping network said in its 10-Q:

On March 26, 2015, the Company announced the termination and departure of three executive officers, namely its Chief Financial Officer, its Senior Vice President and General Counsel and President. In addition, during the first quarter of fiscal 2015, the Company also announced the hiring of a new Chief Financial Officer and a new Chief Merchandising Officer.

In conjunction with these executive changes as well as other management terminations made during the first quarter of fiscal 2015, the Company recorded charges to income for the three months ended May 2, 2015, of $2,590,000, which relates primarily to severance payments to be made as a result of the executive officer terminations and other direct costs associated with the Company’s 2015 executive and management transition.

http://hsprod.investis.com/site/irwizard/vvtv/ir.jsp?page=sec_item_new&ipage=10300629&DSEQ=&SEQ=&SQDESC=

That’s a lot of greenbacks. But let’s break it down.

According to the filing, George Ayd, who we believe is known as Bob Ayd, was terminated as president effective on March 26. His package was a lump sum payment of $746,267, with an additional severance consideration of $256,968.

There is also a 12-month non-compete clause in his exit deal.

As for ex-CFO William McGrath, his severance was $576,800, with an additional $175,936 on top of that. He also gets reimbursed for rent expenses in Minnesota for two months, in a total amount not to exceed $3,010.

QVC’s Parent Puts $2.4 Billion In Charter-Time Warner Cable Deal

May 27, 2015

We used to cover the cable TV industry, and one thing we learned was that John Malone, the so-called cable cowboy and pioneer, usually found a way to get what he wanted. And he wanted Time Warner Cable.

Malone, via Charter, in 2014 failed in his first bid to acquire Time Warner, and the news accounts at that time crowed that Brian Roberts, the head of media powerhouse Comcast Corp., had swooped in and outmaneuvered Malone.

John Malone

John Malone

But when federal regulators indicated they would not approve Comcast’s proposed purchase of Time Warner, Malone had the last laugh, using his cable company Charter to buy it.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-25/charter-said-to-near-deal-for-time-warner-cable-at-195-a-share

What does this all have to do with home shopping?

On Tuesday QVC’s parent and a company chaired by Malone, Liberty Interactive Corp., announced that it was going to invest $2.4 billion in Liberty Broadband “in connection with (and contingent upon) the closing of today’s announced proposed merger of Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc.”

The press release said that proceeds of the investment will be used by Liberty Broadband to fund, in part, its agreement to acquire $4.3 billion of Charter stock.

Liberty Interactive’s investment in Liberty Broadband will be funded using cash on hand and will be attributed to the Liberty Ventures Group.

“We are excited for Liberty Interactive to make this attractive investment in Liberty Broadband, providing our shareholders with the unique opportunity to realize value from the proposed consolidation in the cable industry announced today by Charter,” Liberty President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a canned statement. “Through this transaction, Liberty Interactive has the ability to deploy a significant amount of capital and become a meaningful shareholder of Liberty Broadband.”

Liberty Interactive operates and owns interests in a broad range of digital commerce businesses currently attributed to two tracking stock groups: the QVC Group and the Liberty Ventures Group.

The businesses and assets included in the QVC Group are of QVC Inc., and its interest in HSN Inc.

The assets attributed to the Liberty Ventures Group include its interest in Expedia, Interval Leisure Group, Lending Tree and FTD, its subsidiaries Backcountry.com, Bodybuilding.com, CommerceHub, LMC Right Start and Evite, and minority interests in Time Warner and Time Warner Cable.

Evine Live’s First-Quarter Sales Dip 1 Percent, To $158 Million

May 21, 2015

It wasn’t exactly a stellar first quarter for Evine Live.

The No. 3 home shopping network posted fiscal first-quarter earnings Wednesday, reporting that net sales were $158 million, down 1 percent compared with the same period last year.

http://hsprod.investis.com/site/irwizard/vvtv/ir.jsp?page=sec_item_new&ipage=10289530&DSEQ=&SEQ=&SQDESC=

That’s not a good showing compared to Evine Live’s rivals. QVC saw a 3 percent sales gain, to $1.3 billion in the first quarter, while HSN was up 10 percent, to $600.5 million.

Mark Bozek

Mark Bozek

And quite frankly, CEO Mark Bozek had a lot of ‘splaining to do, as Ricky Ricardo used to say in “I Love Lucy.” Bozek doth protest too much, as far as we’re concerned.

This is straight from Evine Live’s press release, from Bozek:

“While we hoped to deliver top line growth of at least 3 percent, several factors including a lower than ideal average selling price in watches, discounting excess textiles inventory on-air and lower shipping revenues worked against us. These factors also contributed to the decrease in our adjusted EBITDA to $2 million.

On the other hand, we’ve launched over a dozen proprietary brands since the beginning of the year, and our new brands are being well received and are driving higher sales per minute than our legacy product.

In addition, our Fashion Day at the end of April was an extraordinary success, and contributed to year-over-year segment growth of 18 percent in the quarter. With time, we expect new, higher margin brands to grow to represent an increasing share of the total, which should lift the top and bottom lines overall. We have a lot of exciting growth initiatives underway and I look forward to sharing more detail about them at our Investor Day on May 28.

Penny Burnett

Penny Burnett

This was another productive quarter for our team. After an extensive recruiting process, we completed our executive transition plan during the first quarter when we hired our new Chief Financial Officer, Tim Peterman, and our new Chief Merchandising Officer, Penny Burnett.

Tim and Penny are great additions to our team and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with them. Furthermore, just last week we celebrated the official opening of our expanded distribution facility and call center in Bowling Green, Ky. There is still work to do, but when complete it will allow us to deliver faster shipping times and improved customer service.

It has been just under a year since I took over as CEO of a company that needed a cohesive strategic vision. Our success hinges on our commitment to be nimble and continuously test new product launches, merchandising mix and programming platforms.

While new initiatives take time, the progress we are making is clearly reflected in several encouraging first-quarter records – including total customers, average purchase frequency and units shipped. While the balance of 2015 will continue to be a transition period, the heavy lifting has been done and the benefit of changes we have made should be visible in our bottom line by year end.”

Excuses, excuses.

As Bozek said, fashion was Evine Live’s fastest-growing segment, with sales up 18 percent.

Jewelry posted sales growth of 8 percent, followed by beauty with 7 percent gains.

Watches declined 15 percent on less primetime air time allocation. Less air time? Really?

Total active customers on a trailing 12 month basis were 1.4 million, a 2 percent increase.

There were 2.2 million net shipped units, a 17 percent increase.

Average purchase frequency rose to 4.1 units per customer, a 15 jump.

Mobile remained the fastest-growing platform, with sales of $28 million, a 26 percent gain.

Peterman did some brown-nosing for his new boss, as well.

“I’m a long time student and fan of the home shopping industry, and actually worked with Mark at IAC,” he said.

“It is great to see that the Evine Live platform is catching up with the times and being positioned as a relevant competitor in the digital commerce space. Our peers are posting robust margins and we expect that we should be able to as well. Achieving sustainable, positive earnings per share growth is one of my primary goals. And while posting margin improvement is particularly challenging for smaller retail companies given the recent shipping pressures of higher costs and lower margins, we are committed to working more efficiently as an organization to deliver our overall profitability goals.”

Peterman continued, “We have a solid liquidity position that includes $18 million of cash, including restricted cash, and $30 million of availability on our revolving credit facility as of the end of the first quarter. We are focused on improving our existing distribution footprint with thoughtful changes, including a possible second channel similar to our peers.

“Furthermore, by year end, we expect to improve our inventory life cycle by establishing an outlet center close to our Bowling Green distribution center, which will provide an avenue to move merchandise that no longer meets our minimum performance levels for on-air allocation and avoids the situation we experienced this quarter in discounting excess textiles. As a reminder, given our $298 million Federal NOL position, our ability to generate free cash flow will accelerate once we deliver taxable income.”

The company also offered an outlook for the rest of the year, saying that it expects the cumulative effect of its changes to have an impact by the fourth quarter.

“In the meantime, for the next two quarters sales are anticipated to be relatively flat with prior year results, followed by sales growth in the fourth quarter,” the press release said. “The company expects to turn the corner on generating positive net income on a sustainable quarterly basis in the fourth quarter.

Want To Be A JTV Host? Go To Vegas

May 21, 2015

Jewelry Television, which seems to be shedding quite a few hosts lately, is holding open auditions for on-air talent in Las Vegas at the end of the month.

We’re told candidates must have a passion for jewelry and gemstones, “although extensive knowledge is not required upon hire.”

Another requirement is “the ability to talk on camera about JTV jewelry and gemstone products, unscripted for up to four hours.”

Wow, that’s a tall order, make no mistake about it.

Those chosen will be invited to enter JTV’s host show apprentice program at the network’s headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn., for product and on-air training.

Auditions will be held May 29 to 31 at Courtyard Las Vegas South.

Interested candidates must set up an appointment; more information is available at JTV.com.

Texan Advances In JTV 2015 Rock Star Designer Competition

May 19, 2015

Jewelry designer Deborah Wilson Taylor, whose jewelry was recently worn on CBS’s “The Young & The Restless, has advanced in Jewelry Television’s 2015 Rock Star Designer Competition.

Taylor’s company, Austin, Texas-based Femailler, is in the running for the contest, where the top five designers will compete in a reality series for the title of Rock Star.

Soap opera actress Kelly Sullivan, who plays Sage Warner, wore a very unique gold Byzantine necklace on “The Young & The Restless” on April 30 and May 1.

Designer Deborah Wilson Taylor's necklace

Designer Deborah Wilson Taylor’s necklace

The piece of jewelry was presented to the show’s wardrobe team as part of California-based Artisan Group’s Stylist Gift Bag Initiative, and was subsequently selected for Sullivan to wear on the show.

“I chose this necklace for TV because it is simple but elegant,” Taylor said in a canned statement. “I knew that because it was shorter in length, it would suit a variety of necklines and that the detail would show up well in close-ups.”

The necklace can be purchased at femailler.com, where it retails for $200.

Taylor’s participation in the JTV Rock Star Designer Competition involved creating and submitting a short video highlighting her work process and current designs, along with a bio and photos, according to a press release from the designer.

JTV’s panel of experts then pick top designers, including Taylor, to be voted on by the public. Public voting ends May 28 and the top 10 vote-getters will proceed to the next round of competition.

After further evaluation, the judges will then choose five finalists to travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to compete in challenges until four are eliminated and a winner is chosen by the judges.

Taylor creates every piece of jewelry herself and handles all aspects of the business, including website, photography, videography, social media, order fulfillment and customer service.

“My passion is taking an ancient form of jewelry, chain maille, and bringing it to the modern, high-end market,” she said.

Her favorite designs include crosses and long and short drop earrings.

The designer began creating chain maille when she was 14, taught by her brother. She quickly decided to take those skills and create smaller more intricate versions in quality materials, in the form of jewelry.

QVC Vendor Mally Roncal’s Makeup Business Lands In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

May 18, 2015

We know that home shopping fans don’s want to believe it, and neither do we, but makeup-artist-to-the-stars Mally Roncal’s namesake cosmetics company is in trouble. It has filed for involuntary bankruptcy.

We swear by Roncal’s mascara, which is a staple on QVC, so we’re a little shaken. And we love her bubbly personality. Yet we learned about her woes Sunday after a smart cookie posted the news on QVC Addicts on Facebook.

Mally Roncal in happier times

Mally Roncal in happier times

https://business-bankruptcies.com/cases/mallygirl-llc

Then we looked up the court papers in Maryland’s bankruptcy court, and there are reams of them online. It would take forever to read through all of them, but here is what we gleaned from the docket as best we can explain it.

Mallygirl LLC, which is based Towson, Md., was forced to file for Chapter 7 by its creditors, which include Brownie Mae Co. of Newark, on April 20.

In the filings, the creditors claim that the cosmetics company was set to sell all its assets for $7 million to Beauty Visions LLC, whose business address is Loeb & Loeb in Manhattan. The creditors allege that the proposed price is well below the value of those assets, which it puts at $18 million.

Those assets include merchandise consigned to QVC and held at its warehouses across the nation.

Most of the $7 million was slated to be paid to Mally’s secured lender Essex Bank, with no funds left to pay any of the company’s other creditors, which obviously didn’t sit well with those creditors. That’s why they went to court. Mallygirl had defaulted on a loan to the bank.

To stop the proposed sale and get an assessment of what was fair to creditors, they requested that a Chapter 7 trustee be appointed.

According to court papers, Mallygirl started looking for a buyer back in August 2014 when its business went sour.

“Mallygirl’s sales have weakened in recent years,” a court filing by the company’s creditors says.

“These shortfalls left Mallygirl both unable to make timely debt-service payments to Essex Bank and to meet obligations of its unsecured suppliers. Prior to the petition date, Mallygirl was subject to formal and informal forbearance agreements with a number of its suppliers. Prior to the petition date, the debtor considered various options in addressing its weakening financial performance, including efforts to obtain additional equity infusions.”

Roncal is mentioned in court documents.

“The value of the debtor (Mallygirl) and is assets is to a great degree based on the talents and services of Ms. Roncal,” papers said. “Ms. Roncal is both the face of the company and the brand, but is also the company’s chief sales’ person through her regular appearances on QVC.”

The pending sale was contingent on Roncal signing an employment agreement “to continue her
role as the face of the brand.”

Delaying a sale will decrease the value of Mallygirl’s assets, creditors claim, and they want bidding on the company.

“The urgent need to expedite the sale process cannot be understated,” they said in court papers. “The debtor’s cash will be depleted to almost zero in about five weeks, because QVC, a major
client of the debtor, has ceased paying the debtor on its accounts receivable.”

“Moreover, the inventory has a limited shelf life and is diminishing in value daily, and would be nearly worthless if operations cannot be funded or the sale does not close.”

Mallygirl has sought to have the case converted to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

The list of 20 largest unsecured creditors includes QVC Royalty of Wayne, Penn., which is owed $118,000 and Topline Products Co., of Wayne, N.J., which is seeking $2.74 million.

JTV Host Jeff Moseley To Mosey Over to Royal Caribbean

May 16, 2015

Yet another host is leaving Jewelry Television.

Saturday Jeff Moseley said that he is taking an “amazing position” with the Royal Caribbean cruise line as the new business development manager in the Southeast region.

“I have enjoyed my time as a TV Host at JTV these past few years and I will miss many wonderful friends, co-workers and neighbors here in Knoxville, Tenn.,” he posted on Facebook. “What an honor to work for the ‘Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean.'” ‪

Jeff Moseley in action

Jeff Moseley in action

Moseley and his wife Erin were one of the few remaining husband-and-wife teams on a home shopping network, until she left to work for Alliance Sotheby’s International Realty.

The couple recently went on a diet using Isagenex, and lost a lot of weight.

Here is Jeff’s bio from JTV’s website”

Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, Jeff followed a family tradition right out of high school by joining the Alabama Air National Guard while pursuing his Communications degree at Troy University in Troy, Alabama.

An Accredited Jewelry Professional and now pursuing his Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America Jeff enjoys sharing his 18 years experience in the industry with as many people as possible.

“I love the fact that JTV is so confident their collectors will love their new gemstones and jewelry that they offer a no questions asked, unconditional money back guarantee on all purchases!”

Let’s hope that Moseley’s tenure at a cruise line lasts longer than that of JTV host Kristen Keech, who left briefly for the high seas and Royal Media Partners but is now back on the home shopping channel.

QVC To Premiere Halston Apparel Line In September

May 16, 2015

Halston is coming to QVC, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Halston, the fashion designer who partied with Andy Warhol at Studio 54 in the 1970s, is alive through the licensing of his name. And it was recently announced that Cameron Silver, a Left Coast boutique owner, has been named fashion director for the H by Halston and H Halston brands.

QVC will debut H by Halston in September, with Silver hawking the apparel, the Times reported Friday.

http://www.latimes.com/fashion/alltherage/la-ar-cameron-silver-halston-qvc-20150514-story.html

The Halston name has had several owners, included indie film producer Harvey Weinstein. The name is now owned by Xcel Brands, which also owns the brands of two other QVC vendors, Isaac Mizrahi and Judith Ripka.

The 128-piece H by Halston line has caftans, dresses, jumpsuits, shoes and accessories, according to the Times. Prices are $32 to $339.

QVC, Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Team On New Product Hunt

May 13, 2015

Guess who is partnering with a Hollywood movie studio for the release of a blockbuster. And no, it’s not HSN.

QVC announced Tuesday that it has kicked off the official voting period for “The Search for a Better Tomorrow,” a nationwide product search to discover the next big thing. The promotion is tied to the May 22 release of Disney’s “Tomorrowland,” which stars newly married George Clooney.

http://www.qvc.com/PressRelease.content.html?press=cp_press_051215_tomorrowland.endpress

QVC is asking customers to vote for their favorite new products online now through May 15.

“For almost 30 years, discovery, entrepreneurship and storytelling have been at the heart of QVC,” Doug Rose, the network’s senior vice president of marketing and programming, said in a canned statement.

“We are committed to uncovering the inventors and products that make our customers’ lives easier, and input from our customers has always been a part of this,” he said. “Just as Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ celebrates the next generation of innovators, ‘The Search for a Better Tomorrow’ honors products, personalities and perspectives that embody imagination and originality.”

The product search is being conducted by the QVC Sprouts program, the home shopping network’s s ongoing crowd-sourced competition in search of up-and-coming products from inventors and entrepreneurs.

In March, QVC collaborated with the United Inventors Association (UIA) to invite inventors to submit their product ideas for the next big thing. On May 5 thirty inventors were invited to pitch their products to a QVC selection panel at the Las Vegas Hardware Show.

Of these 30 inventors, six were selected to have their products featured on “The Search for a Better Tomorrow” webpage, where customers can vote for their favorites.

The six products include:

Floor Register Glove Dryer – a non-electric dryer that uses your home’s existing heating system to dry your wet items from the inside out.

Micro Easy Grab – a simple solution to handling hot items in the microwave.

eTape 16 – a digital tape measure with two long-term memory inputs and a digital display.

The Seally Cap – a versatile kitchen utensil that allows you to reseal items like canned goods, glasses, canned beverages, fruits, veggies and more.

Tank Case Propane Storage Case and Cooler – helps prevent damage and hassle when transporting 20-lb propane tanks, and is also capable of being used as a cooler or outdoor stool.

UpCart – an innovative all-terrain, stair-climbing hand cart.

The inventors of the top three products, as determined by public vote, will appear live on QVC during “The Search for a Better Tomorrow” May 22 at 8 p.m. to coincide with the film release date of “Tomorrowland.”

The inventor receiving the highest number of votes will have the chance to sell his or her product live on air during “The Search for a Better Tomorrow” special. The show will also include a behind-the-scenes look at the product search, clips of Disney’s “Tomorrowland” and QVC’s most successful products and personalities that exemplify creativity and innovation.

Walt Disney was granted U.S. patent 2,201,689 for his “art of animation” multi-plane camera on May 1, 1940. This camera was then used to make many stories come to life on the big screen – and it’s still being replicated by studios around the world today.

Walt Disney’s visions were shared by Becky Cline, Director of Archives for the Walt Disney Co. at the UIA convention (National Hardware Show) May 5.

Here’s where QVC toots its own horn:

For almost 30 years, QVC has provided a platform that fosters the growth of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Through the QVC Sprouts program, QVC discovers and nurtures entrepreneurs and small businesses with unique, up-and-coming products.

QVC Sprouts offers the opportunity for inventors to tell the stories behind their product to a highly engaged audience and educate them directly on how their product works. Since the program’s pilot launch in March 2012, QVC Sprouts has sold more than 70 new products online and on air.

For more information about The Search for a Better Tomorrow and to vote for the next big thing, visit qvc.com/QVCSprouts.content.html.