Archive for May, 2017

Frankie Avalon, Italian Food, Evine?

May 25, 2017

Singer Frankie Avalon, now there’s a blast from the past, is bringing a line of gourmet Italian food to Evine, premiering Sunday.

Apparently he was previously hawking his wares on QVC, which was news to us.

Frankie Avalon Foods will be part of Evine’s “Wonder.Full.Memorial Weekend” event, with Avalon appearing live to present a variety of gourmet foods, including appetizers, entrées and desserts.

“Throughout my career, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road,” Avalon said in a canned statement.

“Despite the excitement of show business, I always looked forward to returning to Philadelphia for one of my mother’s home cooked meals. She was a wonderful cook and inspired a lot of the dishes in this collection. In addition to authentic Italian recipes, what makes these items special are the ingredients. We didn’t cut any corners and demanded the best flavors from around the world, including chocolate from Belgian and sea salt from Sicily. I’m really proud of what we’ve created and I can’t wait to share these mouthwatering foods with families everywhere.”

Avalon will debut a variety of Italian foods, including appetizers, entrées and desserts, many of which include imported Italian ingredients.

The assortment is exclusive to Evine and includes breaded spaghetti balls, fried and stuffed pazotti bread, limoncello cake and cannoli cake.

In addition to food, the premiere will also include a limited number of signed copies of Avalon’s cookbook, “Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook: From Mom’s Kitchen to Mine and Yours.”

Here’s the boilerplate on Avalon, for you whippersnappers who have never heard of him:

Actor, singer, dancer and former teen idol Frankie Avalon, born Francis Thomas Avallone, is a 20th century, American entertainment legend. With countless hit movies and singles, he began his career in food by authoring his first cook book Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook, from Mom’s Kitchen to Mine to Yours. He has since made a name for himself in kitchens across America and beyond.

Here’s what Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt has to say about all this.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Frankie Avalon to the Evine family and look forward to giving our customers the opportunity to sample authentic, gourmet-quality foods from this entertainment icon,” he said.

“Frankie is an experienced video commerce veteran, and coming from QVC, he brings both live selling experience and a large following of fans who have hungrily awaited his return to our space. We’re ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome these fans to Evine with the premiere of Frankie Avalon Foods.”

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JTV Alums Moseley, Lau To Be QVC Gem Experts

May 25, 2017

Gem expert Peyton Kelley is gone from QVC, but two Jewelry Television alum are coming to the No. 1 home shopping network: Jeff Moseley and Michele Lau.

Both Moseley and Lau posted almost exactly the same messages separately on their Facebook pages.

“I’m thrilled to announce I have officially accepted the offer from QVC to be one of their two Gemstone Jewelry On Air Guests!” Moseley wrote.

And Lau posted, “It is a done deal! I have officially accepted the offer from #QVC to be one of their two Gemstone Jewelry On Air Guests!”

We enjoyed them both on JTV, and this is no reflection on them, but we are a little perturbed if Kelley was let go to make way for them.

As we recently reported, not only Kelley, who was at QVC for years, but most recently host Jacque Gonzales are gone. As one former QVC host suggested, companies like QVC often let veteran employees, who are at the top of the pay scale, go as a belt-tightening measure. Hell, we were laid off at two newspapers for the same reason. It sucks.

Now that that’s off our chest, we note that this news about Moseley means that yet another husband-wife team is on home shopping. Moseley’s wife Erin is already on on-air rep for QVC’s Diamonique line.

Evine has jewelry vendors Judy Crowell and hubby Paul Deasy. And the network also has Pam McCoy, who used to appear on the channel back in the day with her husband Wes.

Evine’s Sales Drop 6% in 1Q, To $156 Million

May 24, 2017

Evine saw its first-quarter net sales drop like a stone, down 6.3 percent, to $156 million versus the year-ago building, the network said Tuesday.

The company also posted a net loss of $3.2 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $3.1 million.

“As expected, it was a tough retail environment so I’m pleased that our teams were able to deliver on our revenue and EPS (earnings per share) guidance to our stakeholders,” Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt said in a canned statement.

“This is the fourth quarter in a row we have improved our bottom line profitability. We are more passionate than ever that our discipline around the interactive video commerce fundamentals is positioning our company well for continued improvement in profitability throughout the year.”

And that’s not all:

Rosenblatt continued, “Our 2017 growth strategy remains focused on building proprietary and exclusive brands as well as using our national multi-platform distribution to showcase lesser known compelling brands that cannot replicate our kind of reach in today’s retail landscape. Our team finds the brands and helps tell their stories in a way only interactive video commerce can do.”

This is it:

“It is clear the traditional department-store retail strategy of offering everything to everyone has been disrupted by technology, which allows for narrow-casting of personal shopping capabilities to consumers,” Rosenblatt said. “We believe our growth strategy positions us to become the platform for the next generation of personalized e-commerce.”

Wearable categories, which include jewelry and watches; fashion and accessories; and beauty, decreased in sales by 5 percent year-over-year, which was primarily driven by the watches category.

The top-performing category in the quarter was fashion, which increased 8 percent year-over-year.

Consumer electronics, which continues to decline “as a result of management’s proactive reduction of lower margin merchandise in this category,” decreased by 45 percent year-over-year.

The return rate for the quarter was 18.8 percent, an improvement of 40 basis points year-over-year.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased 80 basis points to 36 percent year-over-year, driven primarily by rate and mix pressures from the watches category.

Operating expense decreased $8.1 million year-over-year to $56.9 million, a 12 percent decrease, driven by reduced selling and distribution expenses, reduced management transition costs and other reductions from profit-improvement initiatives.

Things aren’t looking too much better for the second quarter.

“We expect revenues to decline 3 percent to 5 percent, which reflects management’s continued rebalancing of the Company’s merchandising mix to reduce low-margin consumer electronics that began back in Q2 of 2016,” Evine said.

Jacque Gonzales Bids Farewell To QVC

May 23, 2017

Time to say bye-bye to QVC host Jacque Gonzales.

We remember when she arrived at QVC, a perky young lady. Over the years QVC glammed her up quite a bit, and we imagine her hiring was to appeal to the Hispanic demographic, at least in part.

We haven’t seen much of her on the home shopping network recenty, and on Monday she posted on Facebook that she is leaving.

“I wanted to take a moment to let you all know that today I am leaving QVC,” she wrote. “It has been such a privilege to get to know so many of you and be part of your lives for the past 15 years.”

She added, “I would absolutely love to stay in touch with all of you – you can find me on my NEW Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/justjacquegonzales.”

And Gonzales ended with, “Blessings to all of you.”

Wish we knew exactly what happened, but we don’t. We’ve been too busy working long hours at our start-up paper to be snooping around.

MacKenzie-Childs Blows Out Door At Evine

May 20, 2017

We’re always skeptical about these types of press releases.

On Friday Evine reported that its premiere of the the MacKenzie-Childs housewares line “beat sales forecasts by more than 200 percent and sold out of virtually all in-stock product.

“Evine and MacKenzie-Childs attribute the success to a number of factors, including unique product styling, collaborative cross-brand marketing, and engaging storytelling which brought the MacKenzie-Childs brand to life using Evine’s video commerce platforms,” according to the press release.

What it doesn’t tell you is exactly how many units were sold. If there were not that many in stock, they could easily all blow out the door.

“Evine has the most talented team in the video commerce business and the successful premiere of MacKenzie-Childs is evidence of that,” Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt said in a canned statement.

“I’m so proud of what our teams accomplished. Beyond selecting the perfect products for the premiere, the level of internal and vendor collaboration surpassed our teams’ highest expectations. Watching the show from the set was exhilarating. We sold out item after item and were on the phone with MacKenzie-Childs’ warehouse working to get additional inventory so we could fill more orders. It may just have been the most exciting six hours of my time here at Evine so far!”

During the May 3 and 4 air dates debut of MacKenzie-Childs the brand’s creative director, Rebeca Proctor, presented the company’s handcrafted items.

In addition to new product, MacKenzie-Childs debuted on a custom set designed for the line.

Contributing to the debut’s success was the strong cross-brand marketing between Evine, MacKenzie-Childs and Beekman 1802 – one of Evine’s most successful bath and body lines whose Upstate New York farm is located near the MacKenzie-Childs design studio.

Last month, MacKenzie-Childs and Beekman 1802 joined neighborly forces and created a co-branded product, which was sold on Evine during the premiere. Leading up to the premiere, both brands engaged their fan bases on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, even executing a Facebook Live show the evening before the launch.

Connecting with each brands’ customers via their own channels explains the significantly higher-than-average number of new customers Evine saw during the launch.

MacKenzie-Childs will return to Evine July 17 and 18 and feature many of the products that sold out in the premiere.

“The experience and results we had with Evine in presenting ‘MacKenzie-Childs Television’ exceeded my already lofty expectations,” MacKenzie-Childs CEO John Ling said in a statement.

“Being our first association with this platform, we were very reliant on the Evine team and their support and guidance was instrumental to our success. I am very proud of both teams for how they came together to so beautifully tell our wonderful story to a new generation of MacKenzie-Childs’ fans. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with the Evine team and continuing to offer our customers a new way to shop our product.”

Is Big HSN Sale On Victoria Wieck Jewelry A Bad Sign?

May 18, 2017

Is Beverly Hills jewelry designer Victoria Wieck headed for the door at HSN?

A reader pointed out that all of her jewelry, real gemstones and absolute, are on clearance on HSN.com.

She is a lovely lady, but we feel her designs have grown rather stale. Maybe the home shopping network thinks the same thing. Or maybe not.

Wieck certainly has loyal fans who will be disappointed if she exits.

HSN, Time Inc. Partner On Food & Wine Line

May 11, 2017

HSN and Time Inc.’s Food & Wine magazine are teaming up, and will be collaborating on a line of cookware and other kitchen goods, the companies said Wednesday.

The home shopping network and the ailing publishing giant are launching a dedicated distributed content platform, where users can explore shoppable content, exclusive instructional videos and recipes.

The FoodandWine.com platform will feature a branded product line designed by the Food & Wine editorial team and tested by Food & Wine’s team of kitchen experts in the magazine’s kitchen.

The product range include cookware, cutlery, kitchen tools and accessories, small kitchen appliances and more, ranging in price from $20 to $200.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Time Inc. to introduce new partnership strategies that will engage customers in unique ways, leveraging both our combined content-driven experiences and target audiences,” HSN President Bill Brand said in a canned statement.

“We are creating a business model that will serve as a cornerstone in our strategy to inspire customers to shop wherever they go.”

HSN and Food & Wine will be hosting a national casting call to secure a culinary talent representative for the collaboration. The selected person will appear on HSN and FoodandWine.com, sharing their expertise within the culinary space to demonstrate the product line. The talent search will be conducted this summer.

“The opportunity to partner with HSN and expand Time Inc.’s brands is a strategic focus. The combination of our premium brand Food & Wine, and HSN’s consumer experience is an ideal partnership as we unlock new platforms that expand our audience and drive revenue,” said Bruce Gersh, Time Inc.’s senior vice president of strategy and business development.

The interactive storefront will launch in October on FoodandWine.com.

QVC’s 1Q Revenue Drops 3%, To $1.37 Billion

May 10, 2017

QVC saw its first-quarter revenue slide 3 percent, to $1.37 billion, compared with the year-ago period, its parent Liberty Interactive Corp. reported Wednesday.

Operating income was flat, at $202 million.

Home shopping networks, like all retailers, have been having a tough time. QVC honchos put a nice spin on the network’s results.

“We are proud the U.S. team delivered significant improvement in our sales trend,” QVC President and CEO Mike George said in a canned statement.

“While we recognize further gains are needed, our first-quarter results show tremendous progress from the second half of 2016. Our international business continued to generate strong results and we are very pleased with our outstanding margin gains in both segments.”

QVC suffered year-over-year declines in the home, jewelry, electronics and accessories categories, which were partially offset by gains in apparel and beauty.

Increases in operating income margin and adjusted OIBDA margin primarily reflect lower fixed costs, higher product margins, higher credit card income and customer service efficiencies.

Lifestyle Diva Martha Stewart Brings Clothes, Skincare To QVC

May 6, 2017

Martha Stewart

Former jailbird Martha Stewart has bounced several home shopping networks, and she is now mounting a return to QVC.

License company Sequential Brands Group Inc. this week announced that Stewart, a native of Nutley, N.J. — where we spent an unpleasant 13 years — has inked a multi-year deal to bring skincare, apparel, and food and beverage to QVC.

“Our brand has always been devoted to teaching and inspiring people to live more beautiful, more functional and more meaningful lives and our products provide solutions to do just that,” the blonde lifestyle queen said in a canned statement.

“I am thrilled to partner with QVC, which offers unique opportunities to engage directly with an even broader audience, bringing to life several new categories for the Martha brand including beauty and fashion.”

The new collaboration, which slated to debut in the second half of this year, will feature frequent appearances on QVC by Martha Stewart and a team of her experts.

“QVC at its core is about the joy of discovery and the power of relationships, and few do a better job of connecting with fans and inspiring them to embrace new ideas than Martha Stewart,” QVC President and CEO Mike George said. President and CEO.

“QVC combines the best of retail, media and social to create the most engaging shopping experience, and to collaborate with a brand such as Martha’s further emphasizes our commitment to excellence and innovation. By leveraging the power of this relationship, QVC, which is among the nation’s top mobile and eCommerce retailers, brings to our customers Martha’s passion and expertise in a special and exciting new way.”

Sequential Brands CEO Karen Murray, added “QVC’s proven differentiated retail experience plays perfectly with the strength of the Martha Stewart brand. We are excited by this opportunity as it provides the brand with a new channel of distribution and further expansion into untapped categories where we see strong sales potential.”

Stewart has hawked products on QVC and HSN, and at least one ex-QVC host says she was a nasty piece of work.

The boilerplate on Stewart doesn’t mention her incarceration:

Martha Stewart is an Emmy Award-winning television show host, entrepreneur, bestselling author of 88 books, and America’s most trusted lifestyle expert and teacher.

Millions of people rely on Martha Stewart as a source of useful “how-to” information for all aspects of everyday living – cooking, entertaining, gardening, home renovating, collecting, organizing, crafting, holidays, healthy living and pets. Currently, the Martha Stewart brand reaches approximately 100 million consumers across all media and merchandising platforms each month.

And what exactly is Sequential? Here is its boilerplate from the press release:

Sequential Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:SQBG) owns, promotes, markets, and licenses a portfolio of consumer brands in the fashion, active, and home categories, which includes the Martha Stewart media and merchandising properties.

Sequential seeks to ensure that its brands continue to thrive and grow by employing strong brand management, design and marketing teams. Sequential has licensed and intends to license its brands in a variety of consumer categories to retailers, wholesalers and distributors in the United States and around the world.

Evine Will Sponsor, Do Red Carpet, At Race To Erase MS Gala

May 5, 2017

Evine is stepping up to the plate as a sponsor of the 24th annual Race to Erase MS Gala on Friday, May 5, at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

As a platinum sponsor of the star-studded gala, Evine is forking over a financial donation as well as donating several auction items to help raise funds in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that impacts over 2 million people worldwide.

And then just a bit over a week after the gala, Nancy Davis will appear live on Evine on May 19 – 21 with her signature “Peace & Love” branded product, including a co-branded timepiece created in partnership with Invicta.

“It is an honor for Evine to partner with Nancy Davis and the Race to Erase MS to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis,” Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt said in a canned statement.

“MS is a disease that impacts some of our closest vendors, investors and customers, and we are humbled to support such a worthy cause. I look forward to having the opportunity to demonstrate Evine’s ‘Be Good to Others’ mantra as we partner with Nancy to help support research toward eradicating this debilitating disease.”

The Race to Erase MS was founded by Davis in 1993 after she was diagnosed with the disease. Since 1994, the foundation has raise more than $46 million in contributions. Funding research is the core focus of the foundation, with all funds raised supporting the Center Without Walls program, a nationwide collaboration of physicians and scientists all working to find a cure.

“When I was first diagnosed, there were no drugs on the market to help stop the progression of MS,” said Davis,founder of Race to Erase MS and owner of Peace & Love Jewelry.

“Today, there are 15 FDA-approved drugs to treat the symptoms of MS, and the FDA recently approved Ocrevus, which helps people with relapsing remitting MS in addition to people with primary progressive MS. That progress gives me hope and makes me grateful for all the people and organizations who have supported the Race to Erase MS. Evine has been an amazing partner over the past two years. The company’s generosity and willingness to raise awareness and money for MS research keeps our hope for finding a cure alive.”

At the gala Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Meadow Soprano on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” will be honored with the 2017 Medal of Hope Award.

Evine host Heather Hall will interviewing attendees on the red carpet along with Dr. Terry and Heather Dubrow as guests of honor.

In addition to the financial donation, Evine will also offer several auction items, including an “Evine Experience.” As part of the experience, the auction’s winner would receive a two-night travel package to Evine studios, including airfare and hotel for two. While at the studios, the winner would be given a backstage tour, the opportunity to pitch their product and a chance to sell a product live on Evine’s television network.

Invicta, Evine’s best-selling watch brand, has also created a timepiece especially for Davis’ foundation. Based on the popular Invicta Peace & Love watch released in early 2015, this year’s Invicta Peace & Love Lupah will be offered in both men’s and women’s styles and include six additional easy-to-change colorful straps. Each timepiece proudly displays Nancy Davis’s signature Peace & Love logo on its dial and comes packaged in a specially-designed gift box.

Returning to Evine May 19 through May 21, Davis will present the co-branded watch and new pieces from her Peace & Love gemstone jewelry collection, including a white topaz and zircon adjustable bracelet, offered in 14 different styles.