Archive for May, 2015

HSN To Hire 300 In Northwest Ohio For Work-At-Home Program

May 12, 2015

HSN will be hiring 300 full-time and part-time workers in northwest Ohio, the Toledo area, to handle orders through its work-at-home program, according to the Progress Newspaper. Although the story describes the program in glowing terms, we have heard complaints about it in the past.

The article says HSN employs more than 1,300 for this at-home program in the St. Petersburg, Fla., Roanoke, Va., and Nashville, Tenn.

“The work-at-home program offers employees the opportunity to work virtually in the customer care department from the comfort of their own home, while providing sales and customer service support to HSN customers,” the story says.

The article then quotes Rob Solomon, HSN Inc.’s executive vice president of customer care and operations administration.

What are the job qualifications? Having access to a land line phone and computer, strong computer skills, customer service resolution skills and “a positive, upbeat personality.”

The program gives employees discounts at HSN along with parent company HSN Inc.’s seven cornerstone brands (Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Improvements, Garnet Hill, Chasing Fireflies, Travelsmith and Grandin Road).

There are a dozen virtual training classes scheduled throughout the year, with classes on May 26 and June 15.


Past and Present Evine Live CEOs Received $2 Million-Plus Last Year

May 9, 2015

There were some really sweet comp packages handed out last year at Evine Live, to the new managers that took over and the old team that was ousted, according to company filings with federal regulators.

Former CEO Keith Stewart, whose regime was overthrown by dissident shareholders, received executive compensation of $2.8 million last year. Stewart walked away with severance of $2.5 million paid in fiscal 2014.

He was terminated effective June 21, according to the proxy statement that Evine Live filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Stewart’s comp was more than the man who led the revolt against him, Mark Bozek. He got a cool $2 million last year, which included a signing bonus of $125,000 and annual incentive compensation of $382,000 earned under his employment contract.

Bozek also collected $115,000 in relocation expenses.

William McGrath was executive vice president and CFO until he was canned in March. He saw his comp drop to $462,000 from $992,000 in 2013.

Two other executives who were terminated last year walked off with more than $1 million each in executive comp. Former Chief Operating Officer Carol Steinberg got $1.4 million, up from $1.3 million in 2013. And ex-Chief Merchandising Officer Annette Repasch received $1.1 million, versus $921,000 in 2013.

QVC Sees 3 Percent Revenue Gain, To $1.3 Billion In First Quarter

May 9, 2015

On the heels of HSN seeing double-digit gains, QVC’s domestic revenue increased a measly 3 percent to $1.3 billion in the first quarter, the No. 1 home shopping channel reported Friday.

That compares to the 10 percent gain in net sales, to $600.5 million, that HSN recently reported.

QVC units sold increased 3 percent, average selling price per unit increased 1 percent to $61.75 and returns as a percentage of gross product revenue increased 41 basis points in the quarter.

The U.S. network experienced growth in all categories except electronics. Ecommerce revenue increased 7 percent to $632 million and rose to 47 percent from 45 percent of total U.S. revenue.

Adjusted OIBDA increased 2 percent to $306 million. Adjusted OIBDA margin decreased 26 basis points primarily due to lower shipping and handling revenue and higher personnel costs for severance, merit and benefits, which were partially offset by improved product margins and higher credit card income.

QVC’s consolidated revenue, which includes all its international networks, decreased 2 percent in the first quarter to $1.9 billion. Adjusted OIBDA decreased 1 percent to $407 million and adjusted OIBDA margin increased 26 basis points.

Operating income decreased 5 percent to $246 million. Consolidated eCommerce revenue increased 5 percent to $813 million in the quarter and was up 42 percent from 39 percent of consolidated revenue. Mobile orders were 52 percent of total eCommerce orders in the quarter, compared to 38 percent a year ago.

“Our first quarter results demonstrate the strength of our highly differentiated retail model,” QVC President and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement. “We expanded our eCommerce business with exceptional growth in our mobile penetration. We generated strong margin expansion, led by Germany and the UK. We invested in our U.S. leadership position with new shipping and handling polices and realized strong growth in new customers. We continue to expand our global presence as we prepare to launch in France this summer. We are well positioned to continue to define the next generation of retail.”

Evine Live To Report First-Quarter Earnings May 20

May 8, 2015

Evine Live Inc. will release its first-quarter results before the market opens on May 20, the home shopping network said Thursday.

CEO Mark Bozek and his posse will host a conference call/webcast at 11 a.m. that day to review the results. The call and webcast are open to the general public.


TELEPHONE: (877) 280-4955

PASSCODE: 4451-7673

HSN Luggage Vendor Suzie Hammond Joins Evine Live

May 7, 2015

The chick who used to sell Buxton items and luggage on HSN, Suzie Hammond, is now on Evine Live. We think it was Buxton.

Suzie Hammond and her TravelRight luggage

Suzie Hammond and her TravelRight luggage

We saw her early Thursday morning on Evine Live hawking a luggage line called TravelRight, with a $160 14-piece set of lightweight luggage.

Hammond was also selling compression socks, which we’ve been using since we broke our ankle.

Margaritaville Meets Home Shopping On HSN, Pour The Tequila

May 7, 2015

Now that’s what we’re talking about: HSN Inc. is partnering with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Enterprises to bring culinary, home, electronics, beauty and apparel products to the home shopping network and its Cornerstone division brands, Frontgate and TravelSmith.

“HSN sits at the epicenter of content, community and commerce. We are a platform for storytelling,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said. “Our partnership with Margaritaville exemplifies our dedication to providing engaging content and unique products to consumers. Margaritaville is a compelling brand with a passionate fan base that we are excited to introduce to our portfolio of HSNi brands.”

We love us some margaritas!


“We’re thrilled to launch this new partnership with HSNi and provide millions of new consumers the opportunity to experience the Margaritaville way of life, wherever their current latitude,” John Cohlan, Margaritaville Enterprises CEO, said in a canned statement. “From our island-inspired home décor and entertaining products to our frozen concoction makers and apparel, each item in the collection embodies escapism, relaxation, paradise and the Margaritaville state of mind.”

The Margaritaville-HSNi partnership launched Wednesday with an assortment of 142 home products appearing on the Frontgate website. This will be supported with a Frontgate catalog mailing to 10 million U.S. homes.

In mid-May, HSNi’s TravelSmith brand, will offer its customers a curated mix of apparel, swimwear and accessories for both men and women on the TravelSmith website and within its catalog, just in time for the summer travel season.

The home shopping channel on July 3 will offer Margaritaville-branded merchandise for the first time, including a mix of Margaritaville’s best-selling products as well as items created specifically for HSN shoppers.

The launch will coincide with HSN’s month-long 38th Birthday celebration and feature a series of “5 O’clock Somewhere” shows each Friday across all of the retailer’s platforms – TV, online, mobile and social.

The HSNi brands have curated and created an assortment of products, including: a Margaritaville Wooden Drink Tray; a set of Pop Top Design Cutting Boards, Salt and Sugar Rimmer Set; and much more.

Frontgate will be launching an assortment of outdoor furniture and décor, with items like a quilted hammock, floating pool speaker, Trinidad Tiki Bar and pirate hat with chip and dip serving bowl. 

In the realm of travel and leisure, TravelSmith is launching a new collection of Margaritaville apparel including Gingham Linen Shirts, printed Reversible Shorts, Tropical Luau Shorts, Castaway Slip-ons and more.

As part of the launch, HSN will be hosting a summer-long sweepstakes offering Margaritaville fans the opportunity to win a suite of fabulous prizes. For more information or to enter visit

Here’s the boilerplate on Margaritaville:

Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author, Jimmy Buffett, the Margaritaville brand of products, services and experiences provide guests and consumers a tropical escape and the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of their favorite destination regardless of their current latitude.

Since launching its first restaurant location in Key West, Fla. in 1987, Margaritaville has expanded domestically and internationally to restaurants, retail shops, vacation ownership and cruise partnerships, as well as resorts and casinos, including its 349 room flagship luxury resort opening this summer in Hollywood Beach, Fla.

Consumers can also enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Margaritaville at home through its national radio station on Sirius/XM, retail  products including apparel, frozen concoction makers, home décor and food, beverage and spirits lines consisting of Margaritaville tequilas, rums, LandShark Lager and Island Tea. Margaritaville is more than a product or a place, it’s a state of mind.

HSN Posts 10 Percent Sales Jump In First Quarter, To $600 million

May 7, 2015

It looks like HSN enjoyed a good first quarter, with net sales rising 10 percent to $600.5 million, the home shopping network reported Wednesday.

But, dang it, there was sales growth in all divisions except our favorite category, jewelry. Hope that doesn’t mean that HSN will start limiting its offerings of shiny baubles!

The results include sales associated with a direct-response television marketing campaign that started during the fourth quarter and contributed to 2 percent of this growth. We don’t know anything about this direct-response campaign.

HSN’s digital sales increased 18 percent with penetration increasing 280 basis points to 40.7 percent. The return rate improved 60 basis points to 17.7 percent, mostly due to changes in product mix. Units shipped increased 8 percent and average price point increased 2 percent.

Gross profit increased 9 percent to $207.5 million. Gross margin decreased 40 basis points to 34.6 percent primarily due to an increase in inventory reserves.

Operating expense leverage (excluding non-cash charges) improved 60 basis points to 23.5 percent.

HSN Inc.’s net sales, which include the shopping channel and the Cornerstone unit, were up 8 percent over the prior year to $841.9 million. Cornerstone’s net sales increased 4 percent to $241.4 million, including 5 percent growth in digital sales.

HSNi’s adjusted EBITDA increased 22 percent to $73.2 million, while its adjusted EBITDA increased 12 percent to $66.2 million. Cornerstone’s adjusted EBITDA increased $6.3 million to $7 million primarily due to strong performance at Garnet Hill. HSNi’s operating income increased 36 percent to $57 million.

Adjusted earnings per share increased 26 percent to 63 cents compared to 50 cents in the prior year.

“Our performance in the quarter reinforces the experiential power of our content and our ability to create engagement across our platforms,” HSN Inc. CEO Mindy Grossman said.

“HSNi had net sales growth of 8 percent and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 22 percent,” she said. “These results demonstrate the continued execution of our strategy to drive commerce by creating personal connections with our customers and offering unique and compelling products. Once again, accelerated performance in digital was a key factor in our strong growth momentum with digital up 12 percent, representing half of our total business. Mobile sales grew 31 percent for the quarter, with penetration at 18 percent of total sales.”

QVC Crows About Music Download Service

May 5, 2015

QVC is touting a new music download service it is offering, “Q the Music.”

“Enjoying your favorite music just got easier,” the home shopping network said in an email Monday. “Shop thousands of albums plus weekly new releases. Download straight to your computer or devices.”

The email also features one of the channel’s newest musical offerings, Josh Groban’s “Stages.”

HSN To Debut Rita Hayworth Jewelry Line To Support Alzheimer’s Research

May 5, 2015

Legendary actress Rita Hayworth suffered from one of the most devastating diseases of our time, Alzheimer’s, and HSN is debuting a jewelry line based on her baubles on Friday to raise money and awareness for this life destroyer.

HSN Inc.’s philanthropic arm is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association for this initiative. In addition to the home shopping channel, other HSN Inc. brands will be participating in this initiative, namely Ballard Designs and TravelSmith.

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth

In collaboration with Hayworth’s daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, HSNi Cares teamed up with the Alzheimer’s group for a 10-day campaign from that is running through May 10 to generate awareness of this disease.

The campaign’s centerpiece is a two-hour HSN Cares special Friday at 7 p.m. featuring the launch of the HSN Cares Rita Hayworth Jewelry Collection, inspired by the actress’s classic favorite pieces. And 10 percent of the purchase price from all items in the collection going to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“HSN Cares is proud to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association and Princess Yasmin to honor the legacy of Rita Hayworth,” HSN President Bill Brand said in a canned statement. “We hope to generate widespread awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association, while creating meaningful connections through the impactful story of Rita Hayworth’s battle with the disease.”

The Rita Hayworth collection features 25 pieces designed with influence from items in Rita’s personal jewelry collection including: a 20.7 carat CZ three-stone engagement ring ($49.95); CZ and cultured freshwater pearl necklace ($199.95); a simulated emerald necklace & earrings set ($159.95); and a 23.75 carat CZ marquis and pave bracelet ($69.95).

Princess Yasmin will phone in during the show and to talk about the collection.

The charity also chimed in about the collaboration.

“The Alzheimer’s Association is proud to partner with HSNi Cares to both raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and raise critically needed funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs,” said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.

“With more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and more than 15 million people providing care, it is important that we all work together to change the trajectory of this disease and the commitment by HSNi Cares is greatly appreciated,” she said.

HSNi brands Ballard Designs and TravelSmith are also supporting the cause by providing their customers the opportunity to make a donation over the phones and online through May 16.

Ex-QVC Host Lisa Robertson’s Squeeze Is Tattooed Trainer

May 1, 2015

We don’t know why a British tabloid, the Daily Mail, is so obsessed with ex-QVC host Lisa Robertson’s love life. But it is, and apparently so are a lot of other folks.

The London rag’s story on Robertson and her younger 38-year-old boyfriend, her tattooed personal trainer, spread like wildfire among QVC customers.

There’s been speculation about Robertson’s romantic life, sexual orientation and her pursuit by a horde of nut job stalkers for years.

Once she left QVC last December, Robertson started posting photos of her on vacation canoodling with her new beau, Eric McGee. The posts were a shock because Robertson had kept her personal life close to the vest.

According to the Daily Mail, McGee is divorced with two kids, and he and Robertson have met each other’s families. He even appeared on the home shopping network several times with her.

The Daily Mail dug up some dirt on McGee’s past financial woes.

His new life of luxury travel is a far cry from just four years ago when he and his wife Amy filed for bankruptcy with debts of almost $200,000.

In court documents seen by Daily Mail Online, Eric claimed he had personal assets worth just $11,000 and owed $189,243.

He said he had just $36.67 in two bank accounts, owned clothes worth $200 and household furniture valued at $1000.

His biggest asset was a 2007 Dodge Charger with 77,500 miles on the clock he valued at $9,475.

There have been plenty of snarky comments about Robertson’s new beau, that he’s too young; below her station, etc.

Here’s what we think: She and he look happy and very much in love in their photos.

No. 2 — This is not England with its royalty or India with its castes. We are all equals here. McGee has a job, seems to be treating Robertson well, and is hot as far as we are concerned. He’s not “beneath” anyone.

Good for both of them!