Archive for August, 2016

Homeshoppingista Breaks A Leg, No Actually Ankle

August 28, 2016

The Homeshoppingista is recuperating. Blogging will be spotty for the next few weeks.

For those who are not our Facebook friends and don’t know, two weeks ago we fell while taking out our trash and broke our right ankle. This comes roughly 18 months after falling and breaking our left ankle.

We guess we’ll now be sporting two swollen ankles on hot summer days in the future.

We have not forgotten you, but circumstances make it a little difficult to blog.

But we’re still in the game.

Evine Live Debuts Apps On Apple TV, Amazon, Samsung TVs

August 10, 2016

Evine Live has launched apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and select Samsung Smart TVs, the company said Tuesday.

So viewers can now access live video content from their streaming devices via Evine’s new apps, the shopping network said in a press release.

The apps are meant to complement Evine’s current distribution channels and appeal to new (i.e. young) and existing customers.

“At Evine, we’re committed to delivering an engaging shopping experience to our customers through our television, social, mobile and web channels,” said Bob Rosenblatt, the network’s chairman and interim CEO.

“The launch of these apps now offers them the convenience and choice of connecting with us wherever, however and whenever they want. When customers download our apps, they’ll now be able to enjoy the same live retail content and entertainment they’ve grown to love on television. That’s exciting and a thrill for us.”

The apps expand the company’s distribution, making the home shopping network available to even more consumers. Evine is carried into nearly 88 million cable and satellite homes across the country and streams its content on its website.

It also offers live viewing via its Roku app (found at https://channelstore.roku.com/details/17996/evine-live).

Viewers can download the apps directly to their devices by searching Evine on their Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs.

Evine Live Quiz: Name The Most Famous Hand Model

August 9, 2016

Have you ever heard of Ellen Sirot, the world-famous hand model?

We haven’t, either, but that’s the way Evine Live described her in a press release Monday announcing that her skincare line is coming to the home shopping network Aug. 19.

Just what home shopping needs, another anti-aging beauty collection.

“Founded and created by world-famous hand supermodel Ellen Sirot, the collection uses advanced, patent-pending Transformative Glass Technology to deliver a skincare collection and philosophy never seen before in the industry,” Evine Live said. “Through an innovative day-and-night system for the face, body and hands, normal looking skin can achieve a glass like appearance.”

The press release said that for more than two decades, Sirot’s hands have won her the moniker of the “Supermodel of Hands,” doing work for Neutrogena, Dawn Dish Soap, Sally Hansen and Campbell’s.

And apparently, Sirot has served as a “hand double” for Katie Holmes, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hillary Swank.

“Every woman has ‘that moment’ – the moment when they first notice their skin isn’t as smooth and youthful as it once was,” Sirot said in a canned statement.

We’ve certainly had our “moment.”

“For me, that moment came 15 years ago when I looked down at my hands… my livelihood… and saw the first signs of aging,” Sirot said.

“I couldn’t sit idly by and watch my hands age. I had to do something about it. I made it my mission and set out to find the perfect anti-aging hand cream,” she said ”What I didn’t know 15 years ago was that my quest for youthful hands would lead me to an ingredient as powerful as Transformative Glass Technology. Finding this technology changed everything for me. That’s when I decided I couldn’t let my life go by without sharing this discovery.”

Sirot uses patent-pending Transformative Glass Technology to “transform the look of skin into a glass-like surface,” we are told.

“There are ingredients in these beautiful glass bottles that will amaze you,” Sirot said. “A combination of unique peptides, 3-D oat sugars and mushrooms that create the look of toned skin; even molecules based on silicium that support the appearance of collagen, volume and elasticity. It’s really natural and just so effective. The best of science and nature working together hand in hand!”

Get it: hand in hand.

“In the world of modeling and advertising, few hand models are as prolific and revered as Ellen Sirot. We’re thrilled to share her story, expertise and product with Evine customers,” Chief Merchandising Officer Michael Henry said. “We look forward to building the Sirot brand at Evine and will continue to bring customers exclusive values on the industry’s latest technologies and trends.”

Maybe The Troubled Brand On QVC Is WEN

August 8, 2016

Yesterday we came to the same conclusion as one of our Facebook friends about the product on QVC whose sales tanked in the second quarter: WEN by Chaz Dean.

We could be wrong, of course. But that’s our guess.

In one of our recent blogs, we quoted QVC CEO Mike George’s remarks from a 2Q earnings call with Wall Street analysts last week.

George said that one of the home shopping network’s products had seen its sales dip, according to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3996597-liberty-interactives-qvca-ceo-greg-maffei-q2-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript?auth_param=1cprs8:1bqa0jd:f0a01469fbb18e68747393411c7da499&uprof=53&dr=1

“Finally, one of our largest brands faced a significant drop-off in sales at QVC and other outlets, which did materially impact our overall results,” George said. “Now this particular issue is brand specific and not reflective of our overall consumer health.”

The WEN hair care products have run into a ton of trouble. Complaints from customers who lost hair after using WEN have filed a class-action suit against it, and the FDA is also investigating the complaints.

George said that the product that lost sales was sold at QVC and “other outlets,” and WEN is sold via infomercials as well as the Q.

Anyone have any more thoughts and guesses?

Which QVC Brand Tanked In 2Q? Mean Maffei

August 7, 2016

The transcript of QVC’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., second-quarter call with Wall Street analysts wasn’t as juicy or illuminating as HSN’s.

But we pulled a few quotes from QVC CEO Mike George from it. They come from a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha.

Maddeningly, George talks about a big drop-off in one of QVC’s brands, but does not identify which one it was as far as we can tell.

Our favorite line from George was, “Let’s not make such knee-jerk decisions that we start to really pollute the business.”

And by the way, QVC will be offering Easy-Pay less often.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3996597-liberty-interactives-qvca-ceo-greg-maffei-q2-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript?auth_param=1cprs8:1bqa0jd:f0a01469fbb18e68747393411c7da499&uprof=53&dr=1

“We experienced strong growth in fashion, particularly in our proprietary brands such as LOGO, Isaac Mizrahi, Susan Graver and Denim & Company. Our household and garden categories also performed strongly with impressive results from home security and fitness.”

“In home decor, we saw strong performance from Northern Nights bedding and Select Comfort and Serta mattresses. These gains were partially offset by continued under performance in jewelry and consumer electronics and softening results in kitchen cook.”

“In jewelry, we were pleased with the launch of Stella & Dot and we began to build the My Saint My Hero brand with the very successful June TSV. And while sales results for the quarter were solid, our trajectory weakened late in the quarter.”

“And while harder to quantify, it appears that all of the distractions this summer from world events and the U.S. election season are also having some impact and we anticipate additional sales pressure from the Olympics starting today.”

“Finally, one of our largest brands faced a significant drop-off in sales at QVC and other outlets, which did materially impact our overall results. Now this particular issue is brand specific and not reflective of our overall consumer health.”

“While Easy-Pay remains a key component of our model, we are proceeding with this more measured approach until we see healthier customer behavior.”

“For Q3, we are excited about the launch of Belle by Kim Gravel, Hot in Hollywood denim, Naot footwear and Mario Buccellati in jewelry, among many others.”

We noticed that Liberty Interactive Greg Maffei got a little testy with Tom Forte, an analyst with Maxim, when he tried to ask more than one question.

“No. You get to ask two questions, that’s it,” Maffei scolded.

Really Greg?

Forte must have written a negative report on Liberty somewhere along the line.

Kirk’s Folly’s Magical Return, Sans QVC

August 7, 2016

Kirk’s Folly is making a comeback.

The whimsical line of jewelry and accessories, marked by fairies and their glittery dust and fantasy, had been a staple on QVC for quite awhile. Then the company abruptly closed up shop a few years ago.

But according to its Facebook page, sisters Helen and Jenniefer are back at it again.

“We have just finished another series of videos to show you our newest collections on Facebook (the first of this six-part series can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/KirksFolly/videos/10155360151483539/),” Jenniefer posted.

“Now you must forgive the glitches in sound and lighting – we will get it right eventually – just be patient and have a chuckle! We plan to bring you these every Monday and Wednesday in August.”

“As you can see, Helen and I are back designing and manufacturing Kirks Folly once again,” she wrote. “We are so happy to hear from you all on Facebook – we are working very hard on all your requests. The collections you will see in this series of videos are the best of our Dream Stones – Divine Colors with Limited Quantities.”

They aren’t selling their wares on QVC, however.

“All of these designs can be purchased on Amazon or eBay from our two largest Authorized Resellers – Chuck and Maureen at ‘Small but Sincere Gifts’ and Alice at ‘Girly Goods,'” Jenniefer said.

“I’m sure many of you know them already! Don’t hesitate to ask them to help you find something you have been searching for – they just may have it!”

https://www.facebook.com/KirksFolly/home

Here is the boilerplate on the company:

The collection covers a wide spectrum of themes-from fantasy to romance to storybook legends. At the sight of these whimsical pieces, eyes light up and minds drift away to a world where fairies reign, mermaids splash and glowing stars grant wishes. This most enchanting realm has been christened “Fairyland” and Jenniefer Kirk leads the parade of magical characters as the Fairy Godmother.

On QVC Jenniefer would dress in a fairy godmother get-up for her segments, sprinkling fairy dust all over the TV studio. But we guess that formula eventually lost its magic. But the fans of the collection were devastated.

The Kirk’s Folly website still has a goodbye on it, saying, “We loved being part of Sparkling You, Your Home & Your World … Until we meet again!”

http://www.kirksfolly.com/

News that they are back in action should bring a smile to fan faces and a dent to their wallets.

The company history from Facebook:

The Kirks Folly story began in NYC in 1979 with one part magic and two parts hard work and determination. It was while sitting at their kitchen table, that the creative genius of Helen Kirk sparked the inspired foresight of her sister Jenniefer.

Helen, who had always loved ornate, glittery objects and displayed a natural gift for design, took a simple pair of chopsticks and made them into extraordinary hair ornaments by wrapping them with embroidery thread, and attaching shells, prisms, charms, and beads.

Jenniefer was so impressed with Helen’s creations (which she named Glitter Sticks), that she began a campaign to sell them-and not just anywhere-but to the most celebrated department store in NY. Finally, after three months of calling, they were ushered in to see the buyer. The Glitter Sticks enchanted the buyer, and the sisters soon found themselves demonstrating the hair accessories to the store´s customers, who couldn’t scoop them up fast enough.

This success resulted in an order too large for the pair to fill by themselves, so they recruited their brother, George, and sister, Elizabeth. Each sibling brought a unique skill to the fledgling company which resulted in a stellar combination of creativity, ability, and determination. The company adopted Jenniefer’s personal philosophy, “If you can dream it and believe it, you can do it.”

That dream carried them to QVC in 1992, when the young network decided to take a chance on the whimsical jewelry designs that were unlike anything else they offered. Though optimistic, the buyers weren’t sure how the audience would react to the fairy-tale and angelic-themed products presented during the hour-long show. They got their answer when everything sold out in only 40 minutes! The audience immediately embraced the captivating designs with a passion that continues to grow with every passing year.

Michael Buble Fragrance, Iris Apfel Fashion Coming To HSN

August 6, 2016

We read the transcript of HSN’s second-quarter call with Wall Street analysts, and CEO Mindy Grossman had some juicy tidbits.

Here are some quotes we pulled from the transcript that is from Seeking Alpha:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3996127-hsn-hsni-mindy-grossman-q2-2016-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

“Iris Apfel who will launch our first ready-to-wear collections exclusive to HSN, inspired by her documentary.”

“HSN is also the exclusive launch partner for Grammy Award winner Michael Bublé’s first-ever fragrance with Elizabeth Arden. Michael will be appearing on HSN as we leverage his strong social following of nearly 15 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”

“And leveraging our success with Vince Camuto’s footwear, we will be intensifying our partnership to showcase a comprehensive lifestyle brand. This includes debut of his apparel collection and being the exclusive retail destination for Vince Camuto handbags.”

“And we’ll be debuting Beauty from Gina Rivera, who garnered a large following from CBS’s ‘Undercover Boss.’ The debut will coincide with the launch of her reality show ‘Beauty Boss.'”

“We will be expanding our fine and elevated fashion jewelry collections, which have demonstrated strength.”

“And as part of our intensification of the footwear category, we are partnering with Hearst Magazine’s ‘Marie Claire’ and senior editor Zanna Roberts Rassi to bring an editorial point of view to fashion, speaking of larger trends and highlighting new styles culminating in our Shoes First premiere on HSN, which will also be featured as part of the magazine’s Shoes First footwear edition.”

And from Chief Financial Officer Judy Schmeling:

“We continue to expand our presence in the over-the-top environment, most recently by utilizing our excessive content and patented Shop by Remote technology to create a new channel application that just launched on the Roku platform, HSN Beauty. This platform combines our entertaining and educational content with the ease of ordering on Shop by Remote to create a friction-less commerce experience.”

QVC Sales Up Slim Two Percent, Outlook Gloomy

August 6, 2016

The major domestic home shopping networks are having a tough year.

Liberty Interactive Corp., QVC’s parent, reported its second-quarter earnings on Friday. QVC did better than HSN, but gloomy honchos at the West Chester-based channel warned that sales really slowed down at the end of the quarter, echoing the challenges that brick-and-mortar retailers are facing.

“QVC continues forward in a choppy retail environment,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Interactive president and CEO.

QVC’s U.S. revenue rose 2 percent to $1.4 billion in the second quarter versus the prior year. HSN, which reported its earnings on Thursday, saw its net sales for the quarter drop 3 percent, to $557.2 million.

“Beginning in early June QVC’s U.S. sales began to experience significant headwinds, which have continued,” Liberty said in its press release.

“The sales declines, as compared to prior periods, have averaged in the mid- to high- single-digit percentages. QVC has developed many initiatives intended to reverse the negative trends and QVC is optimistic, although there is no guarantee, that these actions will have a positive effect. However, even if these initiatives begin to reverse these trends, it is believed that QVC’s U.S. net revenue and adjusted OIBDA will likely experience negative growth rates for the third quarter.”

In other words, QVC’s sales will likely be down in the 3Q. QVC President and CEO Mike George had the same bad news.

“We reported solid second-quarter results, with good sales growth in most markets,” he said.

“Late in the quarter, we experienced a deceleration in demand in the U.S. that has continued. As a result, our near-term perspective is more cautious. Longer term, we remain well-positioned with our highly differentiated retail model, strong customer retention, and our ability to deliver compelling experiences across immersive commerce platforms.”

In the second quarter, QVC units sold increased 4 percent, average selling price per unit (“ASP”) decreased 3 percent to $56.60 and returns as a percentage of gross product revenue improved 82 basis points.

QVC saw growth primarily in the apparel and accessories categories, which was partially offset by declines in jewelry and electronics.

E-commerce revenue increased 11 percent to $727 million and grew more than 400 basis points to 51 percent of total U.S. revenue.

QVC’s international revenue increased 7 percent to $635 million in the second quarter.

Evine Live To Report Second-Quarter Results Aug. 24

August 5, 2016

Evine Live will release its second-quarter earnings Aug. 24, 2016, before the market opens, the home shopping network said Thursday.

Interim CEO Bob Rosenblatt and Tim Peterman, chief financial officer, will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. to review the results.

Those interested in participating in the conference call should dial 1-877-407-9039 (domestic) or 201-689-8470 (international) at least five minutes prior to the call.

The passcode is: 13641966. There will be a simultaneous audio webcast available at the following link:

http://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1205744/B9C7AA68CA790BE786DB7D47B3312400

A replay of the conference call will also be hosted on the company’s Investor Relations website for a limited time, which can be found at: http://www.evine.com/ir.

HSN’s Sales Drop 3 Percent, To $557 Million, In Second Quarter

August 5, 2016

The No. 2 home shopping network, HSN, saw its net sales dip 3 percent, to $557.2 million, in the second quarter versus the prior year, the channel reported on Thursday.

Sales in electronics and beauty rose, offset by decreases in other product categories and in shipping revenues, the network said in a press release.

Roughly one-third of the decline in net sales was attributable to the conclusion of a direct-response television marketing campaign in the prior quarter.

Digital sales increased 5 percent with penetration increasing 330 basis points to 43.6 percent. The return rate improved 60 basis points to 17.4 percent; units shipped decreased 2 percent; and average price point decreased 2 percent.

Gross profit decreased 6 percent to $197.1 million. Gross profit rate decreased 120 basis points to 35.4 percent, primarily due to an increase in shipping promotions, higher inventory reserves and changes in product mix. The change in rate was also negatively impacted by favorable settlements of vendor claims in the prior year.

Operating expenses decreased 9 percent to $142 million, primarily due to decreases in employee-related costs and bad-debt expense and a $3 million charge in the prior year related to the planned closure of one of HSN’s distribution centers.

Excluding non-cash charges and the $3 million severance charge, operating expenses as a percentage of net sales were 23.5 percent compared to 24.7 percent in the prior year.

Operating income increased 3 percent to $55.1 million. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 3 percent to $66.3 million.

“HSNi’s results were impacted by the performance of certain merchandising categories at HSN as well as a weaker season and a greater promotional environment in the outdoor business at Cornerstone,” HSN Inc. CEO Mindy Grossman said in a statement.

Cornerstone Brands, the catalog company, along with the HSN TV network is part of HSN Inc.

“Recognizing that we are navigating in a challenging macro environment, we are focused on execution, combined with disciplined operating expense management and optimizing operational efficiencies,” Grossman said.

“At HSN, we are accelerating our targeted customer acquisition strategies and intensifying our efforts to drive product demand through proprietary products, new programming, and partnerships to improve our top-line performance,” she said.

“At Cornerstone, we are concentrating on the brands within the portfolio that have the greatest growth opportunities, including our expanded retail distribution channels. As a result of this strategic focus, we have entered into a letter of intent to sell our TravelSmith and Chasing Fireflies businesses.”

HSN also announced that Judy Schmeling, currently HSN’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, has been appointed president of Cornerstone.

“In addition to her new role, she will continue to serve as COO of HSNi and will remain CFO during the transition until a permanent successor is appointed,” Grossman said.

“Judy has extensive strategic and financial expertise and over 20 years of experience at the company across all areas of the business. I have great confidence that she is the right leader to drive the Cornerstone business.”

Sales for HSN Inc., both HSN and Cornerstone, decreased 4 percent to $854.3 million. Cornerstone’s net sales decreased 5 percent to $297.1 million.