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

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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12 Responses to “QVC Posts 3 Percent 2018 Sales Growth, HSN Down 6 Percent”

  1. Jerri Says:

    I’m actually surprised that QVC sales were up a tiny bit. With all the changes, HSN is a little better than QVC, at least from what I’ve seen.
    Unfortunately, putting the 2 channels under the same ownership with the merge, was a big mistake. There were people who liked QVC. There were people who liked HSN. And some who liked both… SEPARATELY. The merge created higher prices, etc., and fewer choices. Also the unpleasant experience of vendors hopping back and forth, between channels.
    In my opinion, HSN started declining around 2002-2003. And really changed for the worse under Grossman. Her obsession with designer this-and-that had clothes, accessories, and home goods being priced way too high. And the quality was NOT what the designers produced outside of HSN. HSN was once known for new, innovative items and affordable fashions and jewelry (affordable for most, anyway). And it was all high quality. QVC was always”the expensive one”…not that it was usually worth it.
    I don’t think HSN/QVC will last too much longer. Especially with Amazon sitting out there, grabbing customers left and right. Yes, it’s much nicer to see clothes on a model, etc. But the bottom line is pricing, and coupled with Amazon’s variety, it will lure more and more people away from home shopping.
    I’ve been shopping on Evine, and it has been a good reintroduction so far. I actually hope HSN does make it; QVC, too. What the CEOs of these companies need to remember is; if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. I miss HSN, but the OLD HSN, not the current one. They lost a good customer when I quit shopping on there; me, and many like me. They were at their best in 1999-2001.

    • Mallory Says:

      Another “old days” HSN shopper, here. Jerri, your comments are totally correct. After 2001, I shopped less and less on HSN. I liked QVC, but didn’t buy much due to the high costs you mentioned. I found Evine (then ShopNBC) around the beginning of 2004, as I remember. They’ve had their ups and downs, but I’ve been pleased with them all along.
      I sure do miss HSN from 2000. That was a great year. I think I started watching in 1998 or 1999. I liked Atlantic Beach, Cervelle, DVF, pre Jean queen Diane Gilman (her knits and silks were beautiful, durable, and affordable), and even a few pieces of Maggie Sweet clothes. Jay King, Nicky Butler, Suzanne Somers, and all the other wonderful jewelry. Signature Club A cosmetics and skin care was MUCH better back then. They had Parthena, Aloette, Serious Skin Care, and other nice skin care and cosmetic lines.
      There were slipcovers for furniture, nice sheets, and tableware. Cleaning and laundry products, vacuums, and various mops and brooms. Kitchenware, cookware, storage, and huggable hangers. They still have a couple of these things, but the presentations are not good. The sets are too busy and detract from the items. Too many host “helpers”, too much confusion and too fast paced… especially the product descriptions.
      I’d go back to 2000 in a heartbeat, if I could. And not just for home shopping…for EVERYTHING.

  2. Paul Says:

    Guess what Jerri, when your refer to 1999 to 2001, guess what Mikey Boy fired all those people, ruined their lives, moved jobs to Poland. What are you going to do now Mikey Boy. Running out of folks over 50 to fire. Horrible results no matter how you smooth talk them over. You ruined a once great company, destroyed families but who the hell cares you will walk away with millions. Folks please don’t buy from this company. Mike George is a con man and anti American; support small businesses.

  3. Karen Says:

    Hi Jerri,
    I like your post, and agree with it. I REALLY miss the HSN from the late 90s-2001. I also agree with you about when it started to decline.
    I believe 2002 or 2003 (or maybe 2001?) is when Barry Diller stepped down. IMHO, HSN was at its best under his leadership. That’s when Jay King’s jewelry was well made. I have Jay’s jewelry from 1999/2000 and it still looks beautiful. His recent stuff, not so much. I’ve returned a few pieces due to poor craftsmanship and haven’t ordered more. This started in 2007 or 2008. Just like with Suzanne Somers’ jewelry around then. HSN made her cheapen the craftsmanship and materials because gold and silver were high. And they still charged plenty. Her earlier stuff is worn by me frequently and is holding up beautifully. I never got the appeal of Heidi Daus’ stuff. First of all, as a white metal girl, I hate brass. Everything she makes is brass. And $$$$$$$. Although intricate and elaborate, there aren’t many places you can wear it. How many of us go to the Opera? Ok, I don’t care for her jewelry. She, herself, seems nice. All jewelry on HSN is over priced now. And the one good jeweler they had, Nicky Butler, is gone😢.
    I have been watching ShopNBC/ShopHQ/Evine since late 2004. I moved earlier that year and a cable change enabled me to get it. Other than a few changes, I’ve basically enjoyed them all this time. Hopefully Nicky Butler will go there. Like you, Jerri, I pretty much only watch Evine and only shop from there, with a couple exceptions at HSN.
    I liked QVC back in the day, but didn’t buy much on there; they are/were expensive. And, I like my QVC separate from my HSN, thank you. It seems the unscrupulous Mike George is trying to run HSN into the ground. Its numbers will continue to lower, and so will QVC’s. I do agree with your theory that home shopping is on the decline and Amazon and future, similar big box stores will usurp it.
    What a shame; I discovered home shopping about 20 years ago and loved it. Now, I could care less if it stays or goes.

    • Brenda Says:

      Jay King’s jewelry from late 90s to early 2000-2001 was called “Southwest Silver”. That is the jewelry you’re so correctly referring to. I have a bit of Jay’s Southwest Silver jewelry, and it has, indeed, stood the test of time.
      HSN brought in another expensive line from New Mexico, called Southwest Silver, and then Jay changed his line’s name to “Mine Finds”. Not too long after that, maybe 2004 or a little later, his quality started slipping. His prices went way up, and fewer of his pieces were silver intensive. I believe the quality and craftsmanship has slipped even a little more as of the last few years. Some of it is ok; but nothing like from his Southwest Silver days.
      Suzanne Somers’ jewelry started being more carelessly made, and tarnished easily. Her lab grown stones were replaced by glass, etc. Not her fault; they made her cheapen her products so their (HSN) profit would be larger. They worked with her less and less and finally let her go. A big mistake; she was, and is, very popular.
      If anyone has noticed, other than Lessman, Nicky Butler (who is now gone from HSN 😢) and a select few, everyone’s quality has diminished. Neither HSN nor QVC has kept up their quality control standards from 20 years ago. Profits will continue to lower, then finally plummet to where there will be no more HSN or QVC. It’s a shame; once upon a time they were an innovative, fun way to shop.

  4. Irene Says:

    Thanks for an interesting blog, Ms. Moss. Although HSN’s numbers are not surprising. I’m actually surprised that QVC was up a little. It seems Mike George’s intentions are for QVC to overtake and devour HSN. Unfortunately, I think both are headed down a steep hill with no chance of returning.
    As previous bloggers have posted, both channels, especially HSN, have gone to pot. They hire horrible new hosts, push their current hosts to death for sales goals, sell overrated junk at exorbitant prices, and gouge customers for shipping and return shipping. And, HSN has lost a bunch of good vendors lately..let’s hope they end up on Evine. At least Evine tries to improve itself. They still have better shipping prices and great clearance prices. And, overall, their prices are less… especially fashions.
    I shopped intermittently at QVC, but was definitely an HSN girl. And agree with Jerri and Karen about HSN’s best years. My buying there slowed down a LOT in 2004…. and I pretty much stopped shopping, with a few exceptions, in 2009. I still shopped Nicky Butler and Joan Boyce. I finally started buying Perlier at TJ Maxx, etc. And, I buy Andrew Lessman’s supplements from his own website. Goodbye, HSN and QVC. You will be history in the future.

  5. Dianne Says:

    Even though QVC is up a little, they are both headed for broke, and the merger just hastened things. I mourn the HSN of the late 90s and 2000.
    Unrelated to home shopping, but a big and shocking loss for tv fans, Luke Perry has passed away 😭. He will be missed by all his “90210” fans and cast mates; and more currently those from “Riverdale”. Gone way too soon.
    Also, missing Monkees’ bassist Peter York (a childhood crush 😍), and legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld. They do, indeed, go in threes. Hold tightly your loved ones, life is way too fleeting.

  6. Judy Says:

    I’m not sure why Irene says Evine has better shipping prices. Their basic shipping is $6.99 where HSN and QVC is $3.50. They do run specials for $4.99 and when they want to get rid of something $2.99. Evine also pushes hosts for sales goals, listen to them all talking over each other and repeating the same sales spiels over and over. They also let go one of the most likeable hosts for not meeting sales goals, i.e. she was too honest in her presentations. It’s a tough, competitive world out there in the Home Shopping world. Amazon seems to be the easy way out. Time will tell.

    • Lorrie Says:

      I agree about the shipping, although the rates on all 3 channels keep changing. It’s possible Irene has been buying items with special shipping, thinking it’s the regular rate. I do like Evine better, shipping costs and all.
      And yes, Evine pushes host sales goals. But they ALL do. Have you noticed how hungry older, veteran hosts have become at HSN and QVC? They are ALL pushed for sales. Because of that, it’s a bit hard to get annoyed with them for being so pushy. Especially since younger hosts keep popping up on all the channels.
      I don’t think most of the younger, newer hosts are nearly as good as the veterans; especially on HSN. Some are ok, but most are chirpy, repetitive, and talk about nothing, just to be talking.
      Anywhere anything is sold, sales goals are there.

  7. Judy Says:

    Lorrie: I do agree all hosts have to meet sales goals, of course. But some come across less frantic than others. To me, for example, Coleen Lopez is best of the bunch even though I am not an HSN customer. It took me a while to realize she says some of the same buzzwords as the others, but she cushions it so much better, and talks to the viewer in a conversational tone that appeals to me. I used to watch Shop NBC for hours but now as Evine I can only take it in small doses. QVC is ok, depending who is on. Shopping channels are mainly filler for me to avoid watching commercials but sometimes I do buy.

    • Lorrie Says:

      Hi Judy
      TOTALLY agree. And, Evine’s hosts can get a little crazy. I like Colleen, too. But I’ve noticed she’s a little pushier than she was some years back. I feel for her and all the others who are fighting to keep their jobs and make the quotas.
      How can they expect an overnight host to pull in what a prime time host does?!? There are too many variables to put specific goals on people. Let’s face it: goals or not, there is age discrimination in the TV business. And I generally like the older hosts better. Colleen is a perfect example. Bobbi Rae Carter, too. As for your first post….online is just better shopping 🤔 what can we do?
      Totally unrelated:
      1 Colleen has blossomed into a wonderful grandmother…and that little Lana is adorable!
      2 I’m the same Lorrie; don’t remember which email I used and won’t know until I post.

  8. Shel Says:

    The results stink again, France is being shut down. Can we finally say Bye Bye Mike George. How long do we have to put up with this loser.

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