Archive for the ‘Bob Ayd’ Category

Call Us Crazy, But If ShopNBC’s Sales Jumped 15 Percent, How Come Losses More Than Doubled?

May 12, 2011

ValueVision Media, aka ShopNBC, posted a whopping 15 percent increases in its first-quarter net sales, to $143.5 million from $125 million, the home shopping network reported Wednesday.

That’s the good news. The bad news was that unless our eyes are deceiving us, ShopNBC’s net loss in the quarter was $28.9 million, more than double the loss in the year-ago period. But the operating loss was only $630,000, versus $9.1 million a year ago.

ShopNBC also reported that: Adjusted EBITDA increased by $7.4 million to $3.1 million; gross margin rose to 37.2 percent versus 36.6 percent in the year-ago quarter; and Internet-sales penetration increased to 44.9 percent.

“ValueVision started fiscal 2011 with another quarter of solid progress across our multichannel business, led by strong sales and margin growth and our third consecutive quarter of positive adjusted EBITDA,” ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart said in a canned statement. “In addition to strong merchandising and operational execution, we also strengthened our capital structure and enhanced our financial flexibility through the early redemption of our 12 percent preferred stock with proceeds from the sale of 9.5 million common shares.”

Apparently not knowing when to stop when he’s ahead, Stewart added, “We also continued to build our talent pool across key areas of the company, adding four proven interactive retail veterans to our team. Annette Repasch, a multichannel retailing executive of 25 years, joined us to oversee merchandising strategy and product development for Jewelry & Watches, Health & Beauty, and Fashion & Accessories. We also added three industry veteran
strategic advisors to focus on major IT, process engineering, merchandising and customer service initiatives. The ShopNBC team is key to our future, and we are executing on an exciting road map to drive improved performance.

“Plans for the remainder of this year are centered around an impressive line-up of new product, top brands, and compelling
promotions to drive new and active customer growth. We will also be focused on further increasing our Internet sales penetration toward 50 percent as well as refinancing our long-term debt with lower interest rates.”

The first-quarter net sales reflected strong performances across the Jewelry & Watches and Home & Electronics categories, in addition to solid momentum in the Health & Beauty segment. Fashion &

Accessories is still early in its repositioning, though it achieved some well-received first-quarter brand launches, according to ShopNBC.

Strong customer response to higher-priced items, including big-screen TVs, mattresses and certain jewelry offerings contributed to a slight uptick in average selling price in the quarter, as well as a more modest increase in units shipped and an expected increase in return rates.

ShopNBC president Bob Ayd chimed in.

“Q1 saw a continuation of the trends that drove strong Q4 results and provide our business with a more balanced and resilient platform,” he said. “In addition, we had more merchandise variety across key product categories and saw benefits from several national brand introductions, including Simmons mattresses, Sur La Table kitchenware, and Anne Klein fashion accessories. This ever-expanding array of quality products and unique offers helped drive customer activity and sales gains in Q1.”

Yada, yada…

“Looking ahead in 2011, we can’t help but be optimistic. We have a more established and robust business, strong senior leadership, a growing base of popular products and brands, a healthy balance sheet, and a growing track record of success. All of these factors are proving beneficial in our efforts to both delight our customers as well as to attract exciting new vendors and product exclusives.”

Sur La Table Coming To ShopNBC Monday, Dragging Along QVC Vet Bob Bowersox

April 22, 2011

National kitchenware retailer Sur La Table, who we know from Kierland Commons in Scottsdale, will be debuting on ShopNBC Monday.

“Never before seen on TV retailing,” as the press release says, the Sur La Table Kitchen Show will feature the retailer’s namesake line of kitchenware and gadgets, including exclusive Cuisinart appliances, to the delight of ShopNBC’s loyal viewers, who are sure to get everything they need to make the kitchen the center of their home.

As part of the premiere, The Sur La Table Kitchen Show will include cookware, bakeware, gadgets, cutlery and table settings
as well as exclusive, brightly colored Cuisinart appliances including mixers, food processors, blenders and more.

Sur La Table guest expert Jacob Maurer with be showing off the latest innovations and technology in kitchen appliances as well as unique and exclusive items including knives, kitchen tools and tableware.

In addition, ShopNBC culinary expert and cook book author Bob Bowersox — a QVC retread — will launch The Sur La Table Show premiere with a “Today’s Top Value” offer: The Sur La Table 10-Piece Hard Anodized Cookware Set with Bonus Cookbook, a $435 retail value available for $176.54 on that day only.

For more than 20 years (many of them at QVC, which ShopNBC fails to mention). Bowersox “has entertained households across America with his extensive knowledge, down-to-earth charm, and helpful presentations of kitchen innovations and appliances. From showcasing the latest in time-saving gadgets to sharing his own personal recipes, Bob’s kitchen know-how and advice gets viewers cooking with surprising and delicious results,” according to ShopNBC’s press release.

“We are thrilled to bring the premium brand of Sur La Table and its unique brand experience live to our customers,” ShopNBC president Bob Ayd said in a canned statement. “With a heritage of over 30-years, Sur La Table’s debut will entice cooks from all walks of life to interact with ShopNBC and shop a broad assortment of classic kitchenware and unique gadgets. We look forward to adding new flavor to their dedication to culinary diversity, innovation and authenticity — all at exceptional product and presentation values.”

“We’re excited to partner with ShopNBC on the premiere of The Sur La Table Kitchen Show,” Jacob Maurer, vice president of merchandising Sur La Table, we assume. “We are delighted to bring our passion for cooking and artful entertaining to the ShopNBC customer.”

ShopNBC To Report First-Quarter Earnings May 11

April 21, 2011

ValueVision Media, dba ShopNBC, will release its first-quarter financial results before the market opens May 11, the company said Thursday.

The home shopping network will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 11 a.m.

Participating in the call will be CEO Keith Stewart, President Bob Ayd and Chief Financial Officer Bill McGrath.

Both the call and webcast are open to the general public.

ShopNBC Redeems Stock For $40.9 Million, Undecipherable Financial Stuff On Keith Stewart

April 7, 2011

ValueVision Media, aka ShopNBC, said Wednesday that it has redeemed all of its outstanding 12 percent Series B Redeemable
Preferred Stock for $40.9 million and has paid all accrued Series B Preferred dividends, amounting to $6.4 million. The preferred stock was held by GE Capital Equity Investments.

The preferred stock redemption eliminates $17.5 million in future dividend payments. The redemption was funded by proceeds from the recent sale of 9,487,500 shares of common stock at $6.25 per share (including full exercise of the over-allotment option). Net proceeds from the offering, after commissions and offering expenses, were $55.6 million.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

Additionally, $8.3 million of the offering proceedsare available to ValueVision for working capital and general corporate purposes.

As a result of the preferred stock redemption, ValueVision will incur a one-time, non-cash charge of $24.5 million in Q1 2011, representing accelerated amortization of the preferred stock discount. This expense would otherwise have been realized over the remaining term of the preferred stock, which was required to be redeemed in February 2013 (30 percent and February 2014 (70 percent).

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart said, “The recent stock offering achieved several important objectives that support our growth goals. We strengthened our balance sheet and financial flexibility by removing the high cost Series B Preferred from our
capital structure, thereby eliminating $17.5 million in futuredividend payments. We also expanded our investment community
visibility and base of shareholders, supporting the long-term liquidity of our shares.”

Chief financial officer Bill McGrath said, “A major driver in our decision to redeem the preferred at this time was to eliminate the
cash sweep covenant requiring excess cash balances be used to pay down preferred obligations. The elimination of the sweep provides us with greater financial control and flexibility to invest future cash flows to support our growth.”

As contemplated in the company’s March 30, 2011 offering prospectus, ShopNBC clarified that Stewart may sell up to, but no more than, 500,000 shares of common stock within the next 90 days.

Stewart has beneficial ownership of 1,881,155 shares of common stock, 1,000,000 stock options (583,333 of which are currently vested) and 72,545 restricted stock units (vests 50 percent over two years) representing a total of 2,953,700 million common share or share equivalents.

His contemplated sales represent up to 16.9 percent of his total holdings and are being pursued principally for the repayment of borrowings that funded his open market purchases of ValueVision stock in 2009.

We Guess She’s Not A Hard Liner: ShopNBC Hires QVC Veteran As VP Of ‘Soft Lines’

April 7, 2011

ShopNBC Wednesday named QVC veteran Annette Repasch vice president of soft lines, effective May 2. Soft lines? What the heck!

She will report directly to ShopNBC president Bob Ayd.

We don’t have a photo of her or of the other exec that ShopNBC appointed this week. Apparently the No. 3 home shopping network is not springing for head shots these days.

We had to run this photo of ShopNBC president Bob Ayd because we don't have one of Annette Repasch

In her new role, Repasch will oversee merchandising strategy and product development for the categories of Jewelry & Watches, Health &Beauty, and Fashion & Accessories.

Repasch at one point in her career did a seven-year gig at QVC. She is joining ShopNBC from Stages Stores, where she served as senior vice president and general merchandise manager (GMM), overseeing $800 million in ladies apparel sales.

Previously, she was vice president and GMM of apparel & accessories at QVC, where she oversaw a $1.3 billion apparel & accessories business, achieving double-digit improvements in sales and profitability each year.

Repasch has also held senior merchandising roles in both specialty and department stores (Saks, Lane Bryant and Bon-Ton).

Here’s the spin on her from ShopNBC:

Ms. Repasch has extensive experience in driving growth in apparel, footwear, cosmetics and accessories businesses. She is also accomplished in brand building with a strong customer focus and proven track record in developing and marketing profitable product lines.

Ms. Repasch has core competencies in product development, new business development, organizational and P&L operations management, forecasting and reporting, and merchandise production planning.

“Annette is an outstanding merchandising executive with extensive experience and a proven track record of delivering results both strategically and creatively,” Ayd said in a canned statement. “She has tremendous passion for our industry and for the customer. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her in the past, and now look forward to her contributions in driving the business and as a valued addition to our leadership team.”

And here is Repasch’s canned statement, which reminds us of “The Godfather”:

“The opportunity to return to multichannel retail and join the impressive team at ValueVision was just an offer I could not refuse, particularly given the game-changing potential of Internet and mobile shopping,” she said. “ShopNBC has executed a remarkable operational and financial turnaround the past two years. I couldn’t be more excited to join Bob, Keith and the whole team as they turn their full focus to merchandising strategies to drive long-term growth across their TV, Internet and mobile platforms.”

Does anyone really say “multichannel retail”?

Better Late Than Never: Christian Audigier Handbags Sold Well On ShopNBC — A Week Ago

March 25, 2011

ShopNBC got around Thursday to putting out a press release on another designer we’ve never heard of, Christian Audigier, having a successful handbag line on the No. 3 home shopping network.

That debut took place last week, which is when we wish ShopNBC had put out the press release on it.

The self-titled show series “Christian Audigier Handbags” premiered on ShopNBC during three one-hour blocks during March 16 and 17. The Christian Audigier debut also featured a smashing hit with viewers via ShopNBC’s “Today’s Top Value” offer.

Christian Audigier, after his car broke down outside of ShopNBC

Christian Audigier Rocks the Shop on ShopNBC Overall, the namesake collection, performed strongly, with several sellouts.

The Britt Grande Satchel sold out in six minutes. ShopNBC’s best value on the day of the premiere, the Christian Audigier Runway Collection, sold out one of three colors by 10 a.m and neared complete sellout at 4 p.m.

Here is the boilerplate on this designer we never heard of:

Christian Audigier is known worldwide as a fashion designer and successful entrepreneur. Best known for his Ed Hardy brand, Christian Audigier oversees several successful clothing brands and business ventures throughout the world. His namesake handbag line brings European style and a fresh California attitude to ShopNBC with unique and exclusive styles.

“I am excited about joining forces with ShopNBC to introduce my collection to a new avenue of fashion-conscious viewers,” Audigier said in a canned statement. “I’m confident that this partnership will give a broader audience greater insight and more access to my style and design.”

SHioNBC president Bob Ayd had his canned statement, too.

“We are thrilled with the successful launch of Christian Audigier Handbags on ShopNBC,” he said. “Christian’s handbags embody the Hollywood glamour and celebrity style that our customers crave. I’m pleased with how we were able to capture the passion of Christian and bring it to life for the customer in a way that delighted them while providing great value. We look forward to Christian returning in the future with an expanded product offering.”

ShopNBC To Report Fourth-Quarter Earnings On St. Patricks Day, Our Parents’ 60th Anniversary

March 2, 2011

Bob Ayd

Isn’t this special, for those of us of Irish descent?

ShopNBC will announce its fourth-quarter results March 17 — St. Patty’s Day, which just happens to be our mom and dad’s 60th wedding anniversay — at 11:00 a.m.

ShopNBC, also known as ValueVision Media, will release its fiscal 2010 fourth quarter and full year results before the market
opens, and will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 11 a.m. ET.

CEO Keith Stewart, president Bob Ayd and CFO Bill McGrath will participate in the call. We hope covering this call doesn’t put a damper on our celebrating (St. Paddy’s and Ida and Jim’s anniversary).

Both the call and webcast are open to the general public.

WEBCAST/WEB REPLAY: https://e-meetings.verizonbusiness.com. Conference number 1548956 (passcode: SHOPNBC; archived for 30 days)

TELEPHONE: 800-988-9672 (passcode: SHOPNBC; keypad: 7467622)

ShopNBC To Report Third-Quarter Results Nov. 18

November 8, 2010

ShopNBC will discuss its third-quarter earnings during a conference call Nov. 18 at 11 a.m., the network said Monday.

The company will release its third quarter 2010 results the morning of the conference call.

Participating in the call will be CEO Keith Stewart, president Bob Ayd and chief financial officer Bill McGrath.

ShopNBC Hires Former QVC Exec As VP Of Merchandising Analytics, Whatever That Means

October 5, 2010

ShopNBC Monday appointed QVC alum David Balliet as vice president of merchandising analytics.

Balliet joins ShopNBC with more than two decades of multi-media retailing experience in merchandising operations. Previously, he held several leadership roles in inventory planning and merchandise operations at QVC, serving most recently as vice president business analysis and reporting.

“We are excited to have Dave join the ShopNBC team,” ShopNBC president Bob Ayd said in a canned statement. “He comes to us with a proven background and leadership in the electronic retailing industry, along with significant expertise in optimizing merchandising operations. We look forward to leveraging his strong business analysis and inventory management capabilities to further drive our business.”

In accordance with the NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4350, Balliet is being granted inducement stock options as of his first day of employment with ShopNBC, covering the right to purchase 50,000 shares of the company’s common stock. The options will have an exercise price equal to the closing price of the company’s common stock on the date of the grant.

ShopNBC Joins Home-Shopping Musical Bandwagon With Live Concert By Heart

August 26, 2010

Heart, one of our favs, will perform live on ShopNBC this Sunday at 2 p.m. as the group introduces its first new studio album in six years, “Red Velvet Car,” on the network.

The album, which will be officially released Aug. 31 through Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings, will be available exclusively to ShopNBC viewers during the band’s acoustic performance.

We heart Heart

ShopNBC is the third home shopping networks, behind QVC and HSN, to host live concerts of popular artists and sell their new albums. It’s a way for these channels to draw in viewers who ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead watching QVC or HSN.

QVC recently had Sheryl Crow on for a great concert, and HSN has had Natalie Cole.

During the hour long pre-release show titled “Heart Live!” on ShopNBC, Ann and Nancy Wilson will perform acoustic renditions of songs off their new album as well as a selection of their greatest hits in front of a live in-studio audience.

Included with the pre-release of Heart’s new album, “Red Velvet Car,” will be a 5-track greatest hits live album, exclusive to ShopNBC, and a vintage Heart T-shirt, which until now has only been available on the Heart website and at live performances.

The entire pre-release package will be offered to ShopNBC viewers for $19.83. In addition to the live studio performance, customers may also preview clips of the new album online at ShopNBC (Search Term: Heart).

God, it’s worth it to buy this package just for the T-shirt alone!

Here’s ShopNBC’s hype on Heart, whose “What About Love” is on our all-time favorite list:

Like all Heart albums, ‘Red Velvet Car’ rocks hard, but also has a deep acoustic side. Nancy Wilson has long been known to play her acoustic guitar with rock ferocity. With this album, an abundance of resonant acoustic instruments (guitars, mandolin, dobro, banjo, fiddle, viola, cello, and autoharp), played by Nancy Wilson and the album’s producer, Ben Mink, are showcased in Heart’s unique style.

Nine of the album’s songs were written especially for the album, ‘Red Velvet Car.’ The album’s closer, “Sand,” is a newly recorded version of a song originally written and recorded by the Lovemongers, Ann and Nancy’s 1990’s acoustic side project.

“We are thrilled to bring internationally known music icon Heart to the ShopNBC network and provide our viewers with a one-of-a-kind shopping experience through this live performance,” ShopNBC president Bob Ayd said in a canned statement.

“As a multi-media retailer operating with a premium lifestyle brand, we are highly focused on content, commerce and community to the surprise, delight, and entertainment of our 1 million customers. Establishing a strategic relationship with Sony Music will not only help expand what customers can expect from us, but also open the door for many new and exciting opportunities within the music industry going forward.”

Here’s the hype from the record label.

“The arrival of ‘Red Velvet Car,’ the first new Heart album in six years, is cause for celebration,” said Adam Block, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Legacy Recordings. “We think there’s a great fit here and are excited for Nancy and Ann Wilson to be sharing their new songs live with their fans on this ShopNBC event.”

Ann Wilson and her younger sister, Nancy Wilson, proved that women can rock when their band Heart hit the charts in the ’70s with hits like “Crazy on You,” “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Straight On,” “Even It Up” and “Kick It Out.”

Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs and played the instruments, making them the first women in rock to do so. Heart continued topping the charts through the ’80s and into the ’90s with huge hits like “These Dreams,” “Alone,” “What About Love,” “If Looks Could Kill” and “Never.”

Heart sold more than 30 million records, had 21 Top 40 hits and sold out arenas worldwide.