Archive for February, 2019

QVC Posts 3 Percent 2018 Sales Growth, HSN Down 6 Percent

February 28, 2019

QVC was up last year, and HSN was down.

That was the news Wednesday when the parent of the two home shopping networks, once rivals but now under the same ownership, reported fourth-quarter earnings.

Domestic QVC’s revenue rose 3 percent in both Q4, to $2.087 billion, and all of 2018, to $6.349 billion, according to Qurate Retail.

In comparison, No. 2 home shopping channel HSN’s revenue dropped 1 percent in Q4, to $707 million, and declined 6 percent last year, to $2.202 billion.

“In 2018, we made meaningful progress shaping the future of Qurate Retail, highlighted by the strongest new customer growth at QVC US in its 33-year history and continued gains in digital and mobile engagement,” Mike George, Qurate’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

“Results for the year were led by top-line growth at QVC US and International, excellent performance from zulily, and significantly improved second-half results at HSN as we execute on its turnaround,” George said. “Margin improvement is a top priority in 2019, as we step up the realization of integration synergies and seek to execute on initiatives to improve product margin and optimize our marketing investments.”

In the fourth quarter, QVC saw sales gains primarily in electronics, apparel and accessories, which were partially offset by declines mainly in home.

For the full year, QVC posted revenue increases mainly in accessories and apparel, which were partially offset by declines principally in jewelry.

In Q4, HSN suffered sales declines in electronics and jewelry, which were partially offset by gains primarily in accessories, beauty and apparel.

For the full year, HSN realized declines in all categories. Not good.

Here’s another inside tidbit: HSN is operating under several renewed carriage agreements with certain distribution partners beginning in the third quarter of 2018 which provide for capitalized upfront payments that are amortized over the life of the agreements, versus HSN’s previous convention of expensing the payment associated with the contract terms each quarter.

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Ex-HSN Vendor Amedeo Did Spike Lee’s Oscar Pendant

February 26, 2019

We watched the Oscars Sunday night and as jewelry hounds, of course we noticed director Spike Lee’s large pendant and necklace. Little did we know that it has a home shopping connection!

Several stories about Academy Award fashion pointed out that Lee’s pendant, inspired by dear departed Prince’s name symbol (we believe), was created by former HSN jewelry vendor Amedeo Scognamiglio.

A charming Italian, Amedeo was best-known for bringing gorgeous hand-crafted cameos to HSN. What we didn’t know was about Amedeo’s celeb friends.

According to The New York Times, Amedeo did the diamond, 18 carat gold and fire opal necklace that Spike was sporting when he won his Oscar.

Here’s what The Times wrote:

“A man in a high-jewelry necklace is a first,” said an astonished Mr. Scognamiglio. “Plus, he commissioned and paid for it, which is the distinction and elegance of Spike Lee,” the jeweler added, referring to the complex bargaining game celebrities play with those who supply their clothes.

Good for Spike!

And several present and past home shopping vendors provided garb for Hollywood’s big night.

Fashion designer Mark Zunino was the man behind the green gown that actress Katharine Ross, wife of Oscar nominee Sam Elliott, wore.

And HSN designer Antthony Mark did the gorgeous teal gown that Oscar winner Melissa Berton won for “Period. End of Sentence,” which was a film about menstrual periods. That dress caught our eye even before we knew that it was an Antthony creation.

Congrats folks.

Veteran Home Shopping Host Dan Dennis Comes To Evine

February 10, 2019

Evine has become the land of lost home shopping vendors, and a new one has entered the realm: Dan Dennis.

Dennis, most recently of Shop LC and a long-time HSN host, posted on Facebook that he will be appearing on Evine twice next week.

Dennis said that he will be selling Voga Italian jewelry with Albany Irvin, Evine’s Italian gold expert, on Wednesday and Thursday.

“This is a new and exciting time in my life and I hope you will all join in the fun and support my first efforts with Evine,” Dennis said.

And first-time buyers can get 15 percent off by using a special coupon code: DENNIS15.

QVC Rebrands With New Logo, Got That?

February 7, 2019

QVC on Wednesday took the wraps off what it called “a new visual identity and logo and a new app for iPhone devices, designed to enrich the immersive, engaging, video-based shopping experiences QVC offers, particularly in the mobile world customers love.”

That’s a mouthful! Do we know what it means? Do you?

“Consumers have embraced QVC as a leading digital destination for product discovery and inspirational shopping, and our new brand identity and video app reflect this reality,” said Mary Campbell, Chief Merchandising Officer, Qurate Retail GroupSM, and Chief Commerce Officer, QVC US — another mouthful.

“More than 80 percent of new customers are coming to QVC US via our digital platforms,” she said. “Customers recognize that our apps and website offer highly appealing products at great values, brought to life via compelling stories, vibrant personalities and personalized content.”

You know what, you go through this corporate-speak from the press release:

QVC research shows that current and prospective customers share common attributes: They pride themselves on making smart, informed purchases; they value close connections with family and friends; they quickly adopt new technologies; and they love video storytelling that helps them discover items and ideas to brighten their lives. About 60% of QVC US sales are ecommerce sales, two-thirds of which are happening on mobile devices.

The new logo combines a square representing the many screens through which customers connect with QVC, a circle reflecting the constant conversation QVC creates with and among its customers, and a line echoing both an open door to a vibrant community and the handle of a magnifying glass that stimulates discovery. The result is a reimagined “Q” in a sleek, mobile-friendly format and color scheme that underscores QVC’s mobile-first, social-first approach to video shopping.

With this rebrand, visuals and other elements across the QVC brand are designed to break through and capture attention on the small screen, reflecting the profound changes that social has brought to digital retail. Photography is thumb-stopping, intimate and candid, with rich details and organic patterns. Videos are shot in a casual, unfiltered manner, with close-ups, movement, through-shots and surprising angles. New studios bring viewers into trendy urban spaces, along with suburban settings. Music and copy are playful and spirited. These changes have already gone into effect for new content across QVC’s platforms.

“Our brand identity is a visual manifestation of the evolution of our business and our customers,” said Susan Ripke, Vice President, Brand Strategy. “We’re creating friendly, inclusive environments in digital that invite customers to engage more deeply with us, especially those who are getting to know us for the first time. For example, our flagship QVC mobile app features bold, square modules and horizontal scrolling for binge-worthy video.”

QVC’s new app, Q Anytime, complements the flagship app with an expanded, ever-changing feed of shoppable videos, presented in easy-to-consume 5-8 minute segments, available on demand. By tapping a video, customers can buy a product or get more details. Customers can also customize their feed by category or build a playlist by liking videos.

Currently, Q Anytime draws videos automatically from its vast library of live and on-demand video content, with new videos added every two hours. Over time, QVC plans to offer original content, episodic series, and other extras on the Q Anytime app, all tailored for the mobile audience. QVC is promoting Q Anytime via paid social placements and on QVC’s digital and broadcast channels.

“In many cases, today’s consumers are discovering new brands through video and social apps on their smartphones and other mobile devices,” said Alex Miller, Senior Vice President, Digital Commerce and Marketing. “Q Anytime represents our latest push into a video-first mobile experience, leveraging our unparalleled content production capacity with decades of experience in video shopping. We’re excited to bring this to our customers and invite them to personalize their experience with QVC.”

The Q Anytime app is available in the Apple® App Store for iPhone. QVC’s new brand identity is launching today in the U.S. and will launch in QVC’s International markets later this year.

Beloved Jewelry Designer Nicky Butler Gone From HSN

February 5, 2019

Sorry to say, but we saw this coming. Another one of our favorites on HSN is abruptly leaving the home shopping channel after 20 years: British jewelry designer Nicky Butler.

Butler, a slender white-haired gent with a very spiritual side, posted the sad news on Facebook this weekend.

“After 20 years…I will no longer appear on HSN programming,” he wrote cryptically.

He asked HSN customers to pick up his final pieces for the network on HSN.com, and to continue following him on Facebook.

Butler, who once had a fancy shop in London and counted Princess Diana as a customer, got many of his design inspirations from his beloved India, where he sourced many of his gemstones.

His specialty was crosses — our favorite design — and we must have at least eight of his pieces or so.

But we haven’t seen him on HSN recently, and was wondering about his fate there. On FB posters asked if he was retiring, etc., looking for an explanation for his HSN departure and bemoaning it.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure it out girlfriends. Under the ownership of QVC’s parent, Qurate Retail Group, HSN is being turned into a homogenized, bland home shopping venue. So out with Butler and many other fan favorites.

Butler isn’t the only longtime jewelry vendor who has left. Victoria Wieck is on now on Evine.

From his responses on FB, it appears that Butler plans to continue designing and selling his wonderful jewelry. Let’s hope so.