Archive for the ‘Stefani Greenfield’ Category

The Dumping of Louis Dell’Olio And Charla Rines Sparks Customer Outrage At QVC And ShopNBC: How Shifts In Strategy Can Alienate Shoppers

April 18, 2010

Charla Rines

We’ve chronicled two instances now where customers of QVC and ShopNBC have become livid, and threatened to boycott those networks, because the two channels were getting rid of two popular personalities.

In the most recent brouhaha, more “mature” QVC shoppers were ready to tar and feather QVC president Mike George and John Malone and Gref Maffei, who run QVC’s parent Liberty Media, when they got word that the home shopping channel was dropping designer Louis Dell’Olio’s line.

Linea Ladies (named after his QVC Linea collection) this week mounted a focused campaign to keep Dell’Olio on the air, setting up a Twitter account, bombarding the offices of George and Malone with phone calls, and writing to these executives.

Who knows what will happen ultimately. Campaigns like this, no matter how passionate the protesters, seldom work.

But the “Ladies” seem to have made some progress last week on behalf of Dell’Olio. The award-winning designer wrote on his blog Friday that QVC officials now want to meet with him to discuss the future of his line for them. Prior to that, Dell’Olio said that QVC had informed him that it would stop placing orders for his line in the fall.

Customer relations are not much better at ShopNBC, where angry viewers are still shocked that the No. 3 shopping network canned spike-haired Rines, a loud-mouthed but popular host, back in January. Our blogs about Rines have received the most traffic of any items on this site, and more than 80 people have posted comments damning ShopNBC for letting Rines go.

These ShopNBC customers are also posting that the network had gone down the toilet in terms of the quality of its merchandise, especially the high-end jewelry that Rines used to do presentations on.

What’s going on here? You are seeing customer reaction to major changes in strategy at both QVC and ShopNBC.

Mindy Grossman

HSN is making similar changes, but even when veteran vendor Suzanne Somers left last fall after more than a decade at the network, there was no viewer ire. We guess that’s because she had her new home-shopping gig set up — moving over to ShopNBC.

With the recession, it’s a tough environment out there for home shopping networks. Gems TV went black last Thursday, and has filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection. QVC, HSN and ShopNBC obviously don’t want to suffer a similar fate.

All three home shopping networks have shifted their strategies. For one, they have changed their product mixes to include less jewelry (which apparently no one but us is buying nowadays) and much more beauty and consumer electronics producs.

QVC and HSN are going in similar directions in many respects: In particular, they are replacing their older clothing lines with hipper fashions by younger designers. So for example, you have HSN CEO Mindy Grossman bringing in higher-end design talent like Badgley Mischka, Naeem Khan and Stephani Greenfield to the network.

In the case of QVC and Dell’Olio, he makes gorgeous classic tailored clothes, the kind of garments that women my age love. But QVC is trying to attract new, younger viewers, and has brought in more fashion-forward designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Chloe Dao with their edgier fashions.

Linea Ladies pointed out to QVC that they have lots more disposal income than the kids, and that younger shoppers are fickle and unloyal. Good points.

If you read QVC’s online forums, you will soon learn that the Linea Ladies don’t like the new designers like Mizrahi, and that they feel they are being swept aside in the home shopping channel’s push to draw new shoppers. And these women are probably right.

Keith Stewart

That age issue is also at the center of customer anger over ShopNBC letting Rines go: She was not a 20-something, she was maybe a 50-something. The new generic, picture perfect hosts that ShopNBC has hired just don’t cut the mustard, according to Rines’s fans.

With her bright red lipstick and short platinum blonde hair, Rines didn’t look or act like any other host on a home shopping channel. She was outspoken, blunt, sarcastic and had a real edge to her. She drove us nuts sometimes, but at least she didn’t have the nauseatingly sweet, unskeptical persona of many home-shopping network hosts.

ShopNBC’s situation, except for it getting rid of an older talent, is opposite of QVC’s and HSN’s. Chief Keith Stewart is trying to make the No. 3 home shopping channel less upscale, lowering the average price of its merchandise. You won’t see many $20,000 rings being sold on ShopNBC now, the way you used to.

And he is widening ShopNBC’s product mix to be more like QVC and HSN, in that the No. 3 home shopping network is now selling gourmet food and even 3D HDTV sets (before its two rivals did).

All three home shopping channels will soon be reporting their first-quarter earnings. They have been seeing rising sales, so maybe their new strategies are working.

But their core customers are not happy. And those are the shoppers that they depend on to come back again and again.

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Red Carpet Designers Badgley And Mischka Dish About How They Wound Up On HSN: The Mindy Grossman Connection

March 11, 2010

Couture and HSN designer James Mischka, The Homeshoppingista (my head's as big as Nancy Reagan's) and Mark Badgley

HSN gave the press a sneak peek Thursday at Badgley Mischka’s spring line for the home shopping channel. And it rocked.

We and a handful of other early-rising writers got to interview both bling boys. Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who were charming and down to earth (we hear tell Mischka grew up in Jersey, so that’s a big plus in his favor right off the bat).

They then took us through their merchandise, set up in displays at the couture design house’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Garment District.

When we first heard that Badgley Mischka, the designers of bedazzling couture red carpet gowns, were coming to HSN last year we couldn’t believe it. These are the guys who have done dresses for the likes Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Garner, to name just a few of their clients.

The duo debuted their lower-priced American Glamour apparel and accessory line last November on HSN, and the goods blew out the door.

The design partners, we found out, go way back with HSN CEO Mindy Grossman, and talked to the home shopping network for several years about coming onboard. Mischka, the blond, said he worked with Grossman at his first job at WilliWear from Willi Smith back in the 1980s.

“I’ve known her for 27 years,” Mischka said.

The duo, dressed in their uniforms of jeans and jackets, just opened a store in Palm Beach. They want to spread their wings and expand their brand, and that’s where HSN came in, especially in an economy where the luxury category has been hit hard.

“We were selling $10,000 evening gowns for about 16 years, which is fun, but it’s a specialized niche and a niche that we love,” the bespectacled Badgley said. “But today, you can do more than just that single kind of category.”

A georgette dress, far left, is one of Badgley Mischka's hot items for the spring, along with quality leather purses

Surprisingly, or not, the designers said that the women who guy their luxury couture clothes are also shopping for their wares on HSN.

“After the HSN thing in November, we were walking down Worth Avenue and 12 people stopped us on the street and said, ‘Oh, I saw your stuff on HSN. I bought a bag or I tried to get a bag but it was sold out,’” Mischka said. “So the Worth Avenue-Palm Beach customer also shops HSN.”

And, just as we’ve been preaching, those young fashionistas in Badgley Mischka’s Seventh Avenue showroom watch the No. 2 home shopping network.

“All the girls here in the office are closet HSN shoppers,” Mischka said. “Their closets are apparently full of those hangers.”

He was referring, of course, to Joy Mangano’s Huggable Hangers. Our closet is full of them, too.

The designing duo returns to HSN March 17 for one show, and for 12 hours on March 18, with the Today’s Special, which is a hell of a lot of air time.

The spectator look and studded purses are part of the American Glamour collection this spring

“We’re supposed to be on for 12 hours, if we live to tell the tale,” Badgley said.

Mischka said they recently saw fellow HSN vendor Stefani Greenfield, and she advised them, “Don’t drink too much Red Bull, or you won’t sleep on your hours off.”

Badgley admitted that it’s not easy to be on-air live, trying to come up with dozens of adjectives to describe a shirt, for example.

“James and I don’t really have the gift of gab, so it’s a challenge,” he said.

Well, the HSN hosts sure have it, so don’t worry too much, Mark,

Our blog on the new collection is coming shortly.

Lucky Magazine Features Stefani Greenfield Faux Fur Jacket From HSN

February 3, 2010

HSN coat as seen in Lucky magazine

We just got around to reading the January issue of Lucky, and it featured a fake fur coat from HSN.

On Page 101, in a feature on “The Art of Layering,” a model is wearing a black and white striped jacket from Curations with Stefani Greenfield. The coat sells for $200.

As part of a contest, Lucky also gave away five of the coats to readers.

Sunday Wrap-Up And Home Shopping Dish: HSN’s Fran Drescher Turned Down Threesome With Warren Beatty, But Ex-HSN Vendor Janice Dickinson Was One Of The 12,775 Women He Bagged

January 3, 2010

Warren Beatty proposed having a threesome with HSN vendor/actress Fran Drescher, according to a new book on the legendary actor and skirt-chaser. And Beatty actually slept with model Janice Dickinson, a one-time HSN jewelry peddler.

That’s just some of the juicy gossip to be found in the Sunday papers today about the celebrities that sell their wares on HSN and QVC.

The dish about Beatty and Drescher and Dickinson is in a story that the New York Post did about a new tell-all biography on the actor called “Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America” by Peter Biskind.

Fran Drescher nixed threesome

Drescher, who will be on HSN today selling her line of skincare products, was up for a part in the 1987 bomb “Ishtar.” Beatty was having an affair with the movie’s leading lady, Isabelle Adjani, who complimented Drescher on her beauty.

And when Beatty suggested that the threesome have dinner that night, “just the three of us,” Drescher got the hint that he was not just talking about sharing a pizza. She declined the menage a tois offer.

Drescher shouldn’t have felt that special, however. The book claims that Beatty has bedded almost 13,000 women.

The Post’s Page Six also noted in its “Sightings” section that actress Charlize Theron was spotted buying a ring at the Me & Ro store in Los Angeles. Me & Ro do a jewelry line for HSN.

Sunday’s New York Daily News has a story headlined “16 Ways to Boot Winter” that includes a pair of boots from Stefani Greenfield’s Curations line for HSN. The boots are on clearance, at $99.

And finally, Sunday’s Parade Magazine, in its “Personality Parade,” talks about Ellen DeGeneres’ pets. The item mentions that DeGeneres owns a pet-care company named Halo. QVC sells the Halo pet food line.

Uptown Girl Mindy Grossman Is Taking Space For HSN Executive Offices In A Madison Ave. Penthouse, New York Observer Reports

December 21, 2009

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

We guess St. Petersburg, Fla., is not good enough for HSN CEO Mindy Grossman. She wants a penthouse in the Big Apple.

The home shopping network is taking space for executive offices in Manhattan, far away from HSN’s HQ in Florida, The New York Observer reported Monday.

HSN is renting at the luxurious, newly renovated tower at 545 Madison Ave., according to the paper.

Grossman’s company will be renting the whole 18th floor, glass-encased penthouse of the LCOR building, The Observer reported. It will provide digs for some HSN executive offices, a marketing center and some studio presentations.

The story quotes LCOR exec David Sigman, who says, “Home Shopping Network was looking for high-end, highly visible executive space that also had great light and views.”

If we were HSN shareholders, we’d be questioning why the network will be paying sky-high rents for space in Manhattan.

An HSN official contacted The Homeshoppingista to stress that HSN’s home office and corporate headquarters will remain in St. Petersburg.

But it looks like Grossman wants to stake a claim for HSN in Manhattan. She strikes us as an uptown girl, and that’s certainly the direction she is taking the No. 2 home shopping channel. Madison Avenue is what HSN is aspiring to.

Grossman’s strategy is to attract younger, hipper women to HSN. To do that, she has brought on a load of new Manhattan-based vendors, such as Stefani Greenfield and Badgley Mischka. Now, they won’t have to take a plane trip to Florida.

The blonde Grossman’s strategy that has meant that veteran HSN vendors such as Suzanne Somers parted ways with the Southern Channel. The blonde actress-author-entrepreneur is now on ShopNBC.

Of course, The Observer had to take some pot shots at HSN. Welcome to Manhattan pretensions.

“What better place to hawk tracksuits and sweater sets than a Madison Avenue penthouse?” The Observer wrote, calling “the Home Shopping Network…that seemingly inevitable destination of ex ‘Project Runway’-ers” and P. Diddy.

First of all, HSN changed its name years ago from Home Shopping Network. And second, it’s QVC that has the former ‘Project Runway’ winner, namely Chloe Dao.

It is true that Sean “Diddy” Combs is selling men’s fragrance on HSN, and it sold out on his first visit.

Women’s Health Magazine Features HSN’s Curations By Stefani Greenfield Line, But We Can’t Find It

December 1, 2009

The December issue of Women’s Health magazine, which we swiped from our gym, features a ring from HSN.

In a story titled “Shining Moments,” a $29 pave band ring from the Curations by Stefani Greenfield line is one of the items featured.

But when we went to HSN.com, we couldn’t find the ring. So it either sold out, or it is coming.

By the way, we will return the magazine to our gym, we promise.

HSN Gets Momentum From ‘Her Side’ Of The Business, Like Jennifer Stallone’s Firma-Face: Suzanne Somers Not Missed

November 12, 2009

Mindy_Grossman

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

Even though its third-quarter sales slipped a hair, HSN has momentum and is upbeat about the coming holiday season, according to company officials.

During a third-quarter conference call Thursday, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman fielded questions from Wall Street analysts about the company’s outlook for the rest of the year. 

“We’re optimistic going into the fourth quarter and seeing the trends continue from third quarter across multiple categories of the business, whether it’s new innovations in technology or, as you mentioned, in the ‘Her Side’ of the business,” Grossman said.

“We feel that both from an inventory perspective and a product-pipeline perspective we’re very well positioned going and in the quarter from everything from our gift strategies all the way to some of the new product introductions that we have had a lot of success with consistently,” she said.

Net sales for the HSN network and Web site (excluding HSN Inc.’s Cornerstone unit) decreased in the quarter to $467 million, versus $471 million last year, down 1 percent. However, operating income increased 115 percent to $37.1 million compared to $17.3 million in the prior year.

Chief financial officer Judy Schmeling said that the “slight sales decrease” was a reflection of the 6 percent lower-average price point for HSN items in the quarter, incuding an 18 percent decline in the average price point for the Today’s Special, “rather than any sizable mix shift.”

The network’s return rate dropped to 19.5 percent in the third quarter from 20.3 percent in the prior period; and inventory was down 15 percent.

In contrast to HSN, QVC saw its sales rise slightly in the third quarter. Earlier this week, QVC domestic posted $1.098 billion in revenue in the third quarter, a 2 percent increase from $1.073 billion in the year-ago period.

At HSN in the third quarter, gross profit increased 8 percent to $168.6 million. Unit growth was up 6 percent.

The No. 2 home shopping network has seen growing success with its fashion, beauty and jewelry lines, the “Her Side” of the business, according to Grossman.

“We have transformed our fashion businesses, exited unproductive brands and invested in the creation and developmemt of proprietary lifestyle brands with talented individuals who can bring a unique point of view to our customers,” Grossman said.

She cited as examples red-carpert designers Bagley Mischka, actress Molly Sims, rock star David Bowie’s model wife Iman and tennis champ Serena Williams. There was no mention of actress-author Suzanne Somers moved from HSN to ShopNBC during the third-quarter.

“It is important to note that at HSN we don’t just buy brand,” Grossman said. “We partner with visionaries, experts and design authorites to build propriety brands and bring them to life in unique and compelling ways.”

The CEO cited the line by Stefani Greenfield, Curations.

“We are now recognized in the fashion industry as a destination with strong leadership, innovation and a successful track record,” Grossman said.

In terms of the beauty category, HSN has added brands such as Benefit and Lancome, as well reaping success with its proprietary brands, such as Jennifer Stallone’s Serious Skin Care and FranBrand, the skincare line launched this week kby actess Fran Drescher.

HSN’s launch of Serious Skin Care’s Firma-Face in just four days in September sold almost 100,000 units, and more than 60 percent of customers signing up for Autoship, to ensure regular delivery, according to Grossman.

HSN has adjusted its jewelry product mix, resulting in unit growth of 13% this quarter, she said. Silver and fashion jewelry continue to be strong, with sales up 30 percent over last year “as customers responded to our wider range of price points and new designer introductions,” Grossman said.

She added that she is looking forward to the launch of Molly Sims’ jewelry line, Grayce, later this week.

Despite the dire economny, there was a 7 percent growth rate in sales from HSN’s best customers.

“We have been very focued in that segment of our business, and what we are seeing is her continuing to buy across multiple categories,” Grossman said

She explained that HSN is offering “The World of Carlos Falchi” and “Global Chic” from Iman.

Those are “businesses that completely go across jewelry, apparel, accessories, beauty, etc.,” Grossman said, noting that HSN’s viewers are “buying across multiple categories and we’re seing the increase in that best customer in the number of purchases she’s been making.”

HSN Why, Why Are You Selling Tacky ‘Faux’ Furs And Running Cheesy Holiday Promos?

October 21, 2009

This is definitely a chick discussion, but we love fake furs. Our closet has four fake fur coats, and that’s after donating three other ones last year to a coat drive and giving another one to our sister. Fake furs are really warm and fun.

So it’s with some dismay that we have to report that the “faux” fur apparel being sold on HSN Wednesday by designer Stefani Greenfield is not up to snuff. And to add insult to injury, the pieces are expensive.

Some fake furs really try to emulate real fur, and other fake furs are just fun and are not trying to look “real.”

We have an imitation mink coat that looks so real it draws dirty looks, we presume from animal lovers. And over the years we got dozens of compliments from friends and strangers on the obviously fake leopard coat that we gave to my little sis Karen last year.

The stuff in Greenfield’s Curations line is obviously not trying to look like real fur, but it looks bulky and cheap. But it’s not cheap.

Greenfield’s faux fur jacket is going for $200. A vest is $150. A headband goes for $30; a hat $40; and a weekend bag and belted-vest are both priced at $150.

We don’t care that the October issue of InStyle magazine is offering a discount on one of Greenfield’s vests.

And while we’re kvetching, HSN ought to be ashamed of the tacky, low-rent holiday promo spot it’s airing that features Bill Green, Colleen Lopez, Shivan Sarna and Lynn Murphy. They are seen clowning around, throwing Christmas gifts at each other. Is it supposed to be campy? Not working. We cringe every time we see it.

That spot gives home shopping channels a bad name. Its lack of sophistication perpetuates every stereotype there is about home shopping networks. Why bring in high-end jewelry designers like Dallas Prince, Carol Brodie and Me & Ro and then run a promo like this?

Whoever produced it should be shot, and not with a camera.