Archive for May, 2016

Evine Live Sales Rise 5 Percent To $167 Million

May 26, 2016

Sorry folks, but we have to keep this short because we have to be in the office at 6 a.m. this morning to do early cop checks.

On the bright side, Evine Live reported $167 million in revenue in the first quarter, a 5 percent increase year-over-year.

On the dark side, the No. 3 home shopping network also saw an increase in its losses, up 5 percent to $4.9 million, according to press release Wednesday.

Beauty was the fastest-growing category at 19 percent versus the prior year, followed closely by fashion at 18 percent, home and consumer electronics declined by 4 percent and jewelry and watches declined by 2 percent.

The return rate for the quarter was 19.2 percent, an improvement of 110 basis points year-over-year.

Gross-profit dollars increased 7.2 percent to $61.4 million. Gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 60 basis points to 36.8 percent.

Adjusted EBITDA increased to $3.4 million primarily due to improved merchandising margins and increased discipline in operating expenses and shipping and handling margin.

Operating expenses increased $3.8 million year-over-year to $65 million, a 6 percent increase, driven primarily by a $1.4 million increase in variable costs from an 8 percent increase in unit volume, and a $1 million increase in executive and management transition costs.

Earnings-per-share for the first quarter decreased to ($0.09), which includes $3.6 million in executive and management transition costs and $80,000 in distribution facility consolidation and technology upgrade costs. In comparison, EPS for the fiscal 2015 first quarter was ($0.08), which included $2.6 million in executive and management transition costs.

“The Evine team executed extremely well given both the recent changes at the company and the challenges we are seeing in the overall retail marketplace,” Bob Rosenblatt, chairman and interim CEO, said in a canned statement.

“By bringing added discipline and a greater commitment towards building a cohesive, more balanced business strategy, we’re proving that we can deliver both great exciting products to our customers, and improved profitability to our stakeholders.”

The network also announced an improved inventory position, which decreased 6 percent versus the same period last year, the largest decrease since the fourth quarter of 2012, and an improved gross margin, which increased 60 basis points versus the same period last year to 36.8 percent.

Evine Live also noted that it recently hired two new members of the senior leadership team: Nicole Ostoya as chief marketing officer and Michael Henry as chief merchandising officer.

“Both Nicole and Michael are exciting additions to the Evine family, each with great track records in their previous endeavors,” Rosenblatt said. “Together they will bring more energy and focus to attracting new customers while capturing an even greater share of wallet from our existing shoppers.”

Here is Seeking Alpha’s transcript of the Evine Live analyst call:

The Wrap On HSN’s ‘Looking Glass’ Event

May 25, 2016

It’s Wednesday, and HSN just kicked off the second day of its “Alice Through the Looking Glass” event, featuring merchandise inspired by the new Disney film.

The Wrap, a website that covers the business of Hollywood, just did a story where it interviewed HSN honcho Bill Brand about the event.

How Disney Is Using HSN to Sell ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’

The article points out that the movie, starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, has received meh reviews. But Brand claims that won’t put a crimp on “Looking Glass” goods on HSN.

We’ve already said we’ve already said that we’ve been creeped out by trailers for the movies. And we just read a story, which claimed that movies such as “Alice” and “Maleficent” are basically ruining fairy tales for kids with their dark, adult takes on these tales.

We agree.

Evine Live Names Chief Merchandising Officer

May 24, 2016

Evine Live has appointed QVC and HSN veteran Michael Henry as senior vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Henry joins Evine Live after serving as chief merchandising officer at Eastern Home Shopping in Taiwan, which is probably the only home shopping network that we’ve never heard of.

Prior to that, “he spent three years at QVC Italy as the merchandising, planning and programming director where he was a member of the leadership team that established QVC as the No. 1 shopping channel in the Italian market,” according to Evine Live’s press release Monday.

Henry also served as senior vice president of beauty at HSN for eight years. In addition to his merchandising experience, Henry also held multiple senior marketing roles at brands including Lancôme Inc., Yves Saint Laurent Beaute and Elizabeth Arden. He received his MBA from Columbia University.

As senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, Henry will oversee all of Evine Live’s merchandising operations, including the development of proprietary and exclusive brands which are the cornerstone of the company’s merchandising strategy.

“I could not be more thrilled to announce the addition of Michael to our leadership team,” Bob Rosenblatt, Evine Live chairman and interim CEO, said in a canned statement.

“His background in retail, and especially his 10 years spent in home shopping, will be a great asset for our organization. Michael has spent over three decades building brands and driving profitability and sales for the companies he’s worked for, and I’m excited for him to do the same at Evine Live. I look forward to the focus he will bring on furthering our company strategies of expanding our product assortment and proprietary brands.”

Henry kissed up to management quickly.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at Evine Live as we look to expand the product assortment to appeal to a growing customer base,” he said.

Get The ‘Scoop’ On HSN’s Stefani Greenfield

May 22, 2016

Ever wonder exactly what chatty Stefani Greenfield’s fashion bona fides were before she came to HSN? Then read this New York Times story on the rise and fall of Scoop, the trend-setting retail chain.

Greenfield was one of the co-founders of Scoop NYC, which is closing its 15 stores after a storied history that started in 1996.

Greenfield was “an early champion of lines like Rag & Bone, Alice and Olivia, Tory Burch and Stella McCartney,” according to The Times.

Greenfield, who left Scoop in 2008, didn’t comment for the story, which describes her as “host of ‘Curations Caravan’ on HSN.”

Not quite right. It’s her collection, she’s not merely the host.

Melissa Rivers To Do QVC ‘Super Saturday’ PSAs

May 19, 2016

Oy, we’re not digging the redesign of QVC’s website where press releases are posted.

But here’s one of the recent announcements:

Sound the Alarm – Brad Goreski and Melissa Rivers are Policing for a Good Cause

Hosts of the E! hit show Fashion Police to appear in public service announcements for “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” benefiting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (May 10, 2016) – Both Brad Goreski and Melissa Rivers know a thing or two about fashion, but this June the duo will strive to prove that teal is the new black and fighting cancer is just one stylish step away. The dynamic pair will appear in both the print and television public service announcements promoting “QVC Presents Super Saturday LIVE” to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA).

The star-studded event is scheduled to air live on QVC from Santa Monica, CA, on June 11 from 4 to 6 PM (ET). The broadcast will feature prestige brands with an assortment of accessories, apparel, beauty, jewelry and more at sale prices reflecting HALF the manufacturer’s suggested retail price*. Best of all, 80 percent of the purchase price** of donated merchandise benefits OCRFA, the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while helping women and their families.

Evine Live’s Todd English To Open New Eatery

May 18, 2016

It looks like playboy chef, ex-HSN vendor and current Evine Live pot seller Todd English is taking another step to get his live back on track.

According to the New York Post on Tuesday, English is debuting a new restaurant, called The English, with his son at the W Hotel Downtown in Manhattan.

The eatery is replacing the BLT Bar & Grill, which closed last fall, the Post reported.

Veteran restaurateur English’s antics have included jilting his fiancee at the altar, pawing his dates in restaurants and dipping into hot tubs with half-naked women.

Best of luck!

‘Looking Glass’ Collection Debuts On

May 17, 2016

Just a quick heads-up that HSN has posted some of its “Alice Through the Looking Glass” merchandise online.

Needless to say, we went straight to the jewelry selection. There are some spectacular, and very pricey pieces, from fellow Montclair resident Heidi Daus.

One of her elaborate neck pieces is about $1,000. In addition to the huge necklaces, there is a wide selection of brooches based on characters in the Disney film.

Daus had posted a photo of one of the pins, the Mad Hatter’s hat, on Facebook, and someone asked how much it cost. FYI: It is about $160.

Among her items, we’re partial to a cascading multi-strand pearl necklaces that’s $400.

One of our favorite sterling silver jewelry makers, King Baby, has also done some of its trademark weighty pieces for the collection. Sweet.

Clinic Settles Joan Rivers’ Malpractice Suit

May 13, 2016

It obviously won’t bring the tart-tongued comedian and QVC vendor back, but Joan Rivers’ family has reached a settlement of the malpractice suit it filed after her death following a botched medical procedure.

The amount of the settlement wasn’t released, but doctors admitted responsibility in her Aug. 28, 2014 death, according to The New York Times.

The lawsuit had been filed by Rivers’ daughter Melissa against Yorkville Endoscopy in Manhattan, and also named three doctors at the facility.

The comedian died, at age 81, after undergoing what should have been a routine procedure. Rivers had been suffering from a sore throat, and doctors were going to examine her voice box and vocal cords, as The Times reported.

At one point during the procedure the anesthesiologist noticed that Rivers’ vocal cords were swollen, but he was ignored. In fact, her cords did close up and she stopped breathing, going into cardiac arrests. She died several days later.

To add insult to injury, one of the doctors took a cellphone photo of Rivers while she was on the operating table.

Melissa issued a statement on the settlement.

The lawsuit concerning my mother’s death has been settled. In accepting this settlement, I am able to put the legal aspects of my mother’s death behind me and ensure that those culpable for her death have accepted responsibility for their actions quickly and without equivocation.

Moving forward, my focus will be to ensure that no one ever has to go through what my mother, Cooper and I went through and I will work towards ensuring higher safety standards in out-patient surgical clinics. I want to express my personal gratitude to my legal team for their wise counsel and prompt resolution of this case.

Evine Live PR Advice: Don’t Call The Homeshoppingista Names

May 11, 2016

Evine Live, the home shopping network whose former honcho once called us a bitch, has hired a new public relations agency. Let’s hope the firm’s first piece of advice to management will be not to call members of the media nasty names.

The No. 3 home shopping channel on Tuesday said it had chosen Alison Brod Public Relations as its “public relations and influencer agency of record.”

Alison Brod, based in the Big Apple, “will work in tandem with Evine Live to create engaging public relations and marketing campaigns aimed at creating buzz for the company’s proprietary and name brands across all categories,” according to the press release from Alison Brod.

“When it comes to growing and building lifestyle brands, Alison Brod PR is the best in the business,” Evine Live’s Chief Marketing Officer Nicole Ostoya said in a canned statement.

“The team at ABPR understands our ability to bring products to life in a way no other medium can. They’re excited – as we are – to introduce the Evine Live brand to a whole new audience and tell our story through compelling, strategic campaigns. We’re looking forward to embarking on the next journey in our company’s history and thrilled to have ABPR helping to guide the way.”

The PR firm has clients in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, entertainment, spirits and restaurant industries.

Crain’s New York Business, our alma mater, named Alison Brod one of the best companies to work for in New York City and more than “100 media outlets have profiled the agency for their established track record of creating new brands, re-inventing companies and sustaining long-term publicity and marketing campaigns,” according to the press release.

“As a marketer, there is nothing more exciting than to partner with an executive team that is unafraid to take chances. Evine Live’s leadership is incredibly spirited. The potential for compelling products and programs are limitless and we are honored to be their partner,” said Alison Brod.

We’re not sure if that is a person or the agency itself.

Anyway, here is the boilerplate on the firm:

Alison Brod Public Relations is a restaurant & spirits, lifestyle, beauty, fashion and entertainment public relations and marketing agency that specializes in strategic public relations, creative product placement and events since 1995. Their client roster blends luxury and mass brands and includes Mercedes-Benz, L’Oreal Paris and Burger King.

QVC Reports 5 Percent Sales Gain, To $1.4 Billion

May 10, 2016

QVC’s revenue rose 5 percent to $1.4 billion in the first quarter, with operating income increasing by 14 percent, the home shopping network’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., reported Monday.

The domestic channel saw growth in the apparel, accessories and home categories, which was partially offset by declines in jewelry and electronics.

That compares to the 4 percent sales slide, to $578.4 million, that HSN just posted for the first quarter.

“Our fashion businesses continue to be a key driver of growth globally,” QVC President and CEO Mike George told analysts, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.

“We had terrific success with proprietary designer brands such as LOGO by Lori Goldstein, Susan Graver and Lisa Rinna in the U.S.,” he said. “Our fashion businesses continue to be a key driver of growth globally. We had terrific success with proprietary designer brands such as LOGO by Lori Goldstein, Susan Graver and Lisa Rinna in the U.S. Our strong performance in accessories was driven by footwear including Vionic, Skechers and Clarks, the resurgence of the swimwear business and intimate apparel. We had several successful fashion launches in the quarter, most notably the debut of C. Wonder on an exclusive basis.”

George also talked about QVC’s partnership with NBC’s “Today Show.”

“This time, we’ve focused our attention on mom entrepreneurs, and nine of the best entrants made it to a week-long series on the ‘Today’ show, where viewers picked their favorite products,” he said. “And the winner, Krista Woods, sold out her product in a few minutes, GloveStix, on our Saturday morning program.”

On the jewelry front, George said,”Jewelry continues to be soft globally. We saw continued declines in the bronze, gold and silver categories, and we continue to refocus assets into better performing categories such as our proprietary Diamonique and Affinity brands. And we’ll be adding a number of new designer brands later this year such as Stella & Dot, Mario Buccellati, Jane Taylor and Franco P.”

QVC’s e-commerce revenue increased 10 percent to $698 million and was up to 50 percent of total U.S. revenue in the quarter from 47 percent a year ago.

Units sold increased 7 percent, the average selling-price-per-unit decreased 3 percent to $60.03 and returns as a percentage of gross product revenue improved 184 basis points.

“We generated very solid top-line growth, with local currency gains in nearly every market,” George said.

“We continued to benefit from our strategies and investments to enhance and extend the reach of our commerce platforms,” he said. “We delivered double-digit gains for both consolidated e-commerce revenue and mobile orders. Our top-line performance and the continued expansion of our commerce platforms demonstrate how strongly the QVC brand resonates with consumers.”

Greg Maffei, Liberty Interactive president and CEO, also gave QVC a shoutout.

“QVC generated another strong quarter of revenue growth, particularly in the US, and posted impressive increases in mobile penetration of orders in the US and on a consolidated basis,” he said. “Zulily started off strong in 2016 with accelerating revenue growth and a six-fold increase in adjusted OIBDA on strong operational execution.”

For the quarter, the QVC Group, which includes all the company’s international home shopping network, saw its revenue increase 22 percent to $2.4 billion and its operating income decreased 13 percent to $206 million.