Archive for December, 2019

QVC Founder Segel Dies At Age 88

December 23, 2019

This past weekend QVC’s founder, Joseph Segel, died at age 88. Media in the Philly-NYC area widely ran obits about his demise.

From what The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, Segel was a born entrepreneur. He started printing and sell business cards to local companies when he was just 12.

Before starting the dominant home shopping network, Segel launched Franklin Mint. And he never stopped. Segel debuted HairRx, a hair care system, in 2018.

There is a detailed biography of Segel online:

Here is part of what it has to say about Segel’s “Master Achievement,” QVC:

In 1986, Segel noted the success of the pioneering home shopping program, Home Shopping Network. After watching the primitive nature of its programming at that time, he immediately recognized that televised home shopping could be made significantly more appealing in a number of ways. So he then started QVC Network (standing for Quality-Value-Convenience).

Within three months after starting the company, Segel raised over $20 million in an IPO. With a novel plan to sign up cable companies by awarding them convertible preferred stock in proportion to the number of homes to which they would carry the QVC program, Segel initially lined up over 7 million TV homes for the network’s launch. The first broadcast, five months after the company was started, was carried by 58 cable systems in 20 states.

Segel introduced numerous innovations to televised home shopping, such as accurately describing products rather than hyping them, full disclosure of shipping and handling charges, and imbuing all employees with the mission to “give customers more than they expect.”

In its first year, QVC registered sales of $112 million — a record for first-year sales of a new public company that had not taken over an existing business.

In 1989, Segel decided that the next important step in expanding QVC’s sales would be to acquire Cable Value Network (CVN). Supported by Telecommunications, Inc.(TCI), the nation’s largest cable operator at the time, CVN had become the second largest televised shopping network, not quite as large as HSN but twice the size of QVC. Subsequently, CVN was acquired by QVC for $380 million, primarily with financing provided by banks and cable operators.

The purchase of CVN was described as a python swallowing an elephant, resulting in an initial quarterly loss of $17 million. However, the calculated gamble to establish QVC’s market leadership eventually paid off. In 1986 there were 17 other new shopping channels trying to improve on the HSN model. Only one – QVC– would survive into the 90’s.

In 1995, Comcast Corporation and TCI acquired QVC. TCI’s interest was subsequently acquired by Liberty Media, and Liberty Media eventually bought out Comcast’s 57% interest for nearly $8 billion.

QVC Sends Out Letter on Maran’s Argan Serums

December 23, 2019

QVC sent out a letter to shoppers who purchased Josie Maran’s Mega Argan Favorites Holiday Trio, a TSV.

According to someone who received the letter, the home shopping network seemed to be offering a disclaimer about the product claims made about the Argan Milk Facial Serum & Body Serum.

The Facebook poster said in its letter QVC essentially said those products didn’t live up to their promise of “penetrating all the way down to the deepest layers of your skin.”

QVC said the “letter is provided for you but you need not take action,” but added that you could send back the Argan goods for free shipping and a full refund if you wanted.

Very interesting.

Is QVC’s Today’s Special Value Special Anymore?

December 23, 2019

We’ll chime in on this: Does QVC’s Today’s Special Value matter anymore?

Someone on Facebook complained that since QVC no longer offers a single, one-day special value — but rather like a half dozen of them that last more than a day — does the term TSV even have any importance anymore?

It doesn’t to us.

Like other Q followers, we used to tune into QVC at midnight faithfully each night to see what the special deal was. Now that’s meaningless. And we aren’t even sure nowadays when a so-called TSV ends. Are they good for a week now?

It kinda stinks.