Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

QVC Second-Quarter Sales Up 4 Percent, HSN Down

August 12, 2018

It was a tale of two home shopping networks in the second quarter, with QVC seeing sales rise 4 percent and HSN seeing an 11 percent drop. Both are under the same ownership now, part of Qurate Retail Inc.

QVC’s revenue rose to $1.43 billion, from $1.37 billion a year ago. HSN saw sales of $473 million, down from $533 million in the prior-year quarter.

There were some bookkeeping changes, so Qurate added many caveats in its second-quarter earnings report, such as, “QVC US revenue (was) up 4 percent as reported, up 2 percent on a comparative basis excluding impact of new accounting standards regarding credit card income.

You can see for yourselves:

http://ir.qurateretail.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1074387

“We continued our sales growth at QVC and the strong momentum at zulily, as well as initial profit improvement at HSN as we implement our operating strategies,” Mike George, Qurate Retail’s president and CEO, said in a canned statement.

“We are showing solid early execution on strategic priorities to expand and engage our customer base across platforms and achieve attractive operating synergies,” he said. “Qurate realized strong growth in its total customer count, led by zulily and QVC, and significantly grew customer engagement as we increased exposure on emerging video and social platforms and continued to strengthen our performance marketing capabilities. Qurate Retail’s unique position at the intersection of key trends in retail, together with our operational execution, will set a strong foundation to drive sustainable growth and long term value creation.”

QVC saw year-over-year sales gains in apparel and accessories, which were partially offset by declines in home, beauty, electronics and jewelry, according to the second-quarter press release.

In the second quarter, HSN’s sales mix shifted to home, accessories and beauty from apparel, jewelry and electronics, the release said. Return rates improved due to the sales mix shift toward product categories with lower return rates and a continued positive trend in several categories. The decline in operating income margin is primarily due to purchase accounting amortization.

Here’s some of the accounting stuff that we can’t make heads nor tails of.
tQuaraye Retail adopted the new U.S. accounting standard regarding revenue recognition (ASC 606) as of January 1, 2018. Accordingly, QVC, HSN and zulily recognize credit card income for their branded credit cards as part of net revenue rather than as an offset to SG&A expense.

This change will positively impact Qurate Retail’s revenue for 2018. Qurate Retail is providing comparable results in addition to GAAP results where applicable and the narrative in this press release is presented excluding the impact of this accounting adjustment. The zulily-branded credit card was first implemented in the third quarter of 2017 and this change did not have a material impact on zulily’s reported revenue in the second quarter of 2018.

In addition, under new revenue recognition standards, Qurate Retail now recognizes revenue at the time of shipment as opposed to delivery. This accounting change had a modestly negative impact on reported results for Qurate Retail in the second quarter, but this impact is expected to balance out over 2018. As such, comparable results presented in this press release are not adjusted for this change. HSNi previously recognized revenue at the time of shipment, so there is no impact to HSNi’s reported results.

In the wake of acquiring HSN, Qurate Retail saw $8 million in cost synergies in the second quarter, of which about “$6 million benefited operating income and adjusted OIBDA and the remaining $2 million relate to equity compensation expense.”
Qurate Retail remains on track to achieve $35 million to $40 million of cost synergies this year, according to the press release

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HSN Host Adam Freeman’s New Delivery

July 29, 2018

Congrats to Brit HSN host Adam Freeman and his wife Chelsea, who welcomed an addition to their family this weekend.

On Facebook ever-affable Freeman introduced newcomer Sebastian Reid Freeman. The host posted a photo of him and his wife, the newborn and their son Oliver.

Well done, ol’ chap.

Speaking of those from over the pond, a little bird told us that a QVC UK veteran, Anthony Heywood, is heading to the U.S. QVC.

And Terri Conn, an actress on the daytime soap “As the World Turns,” told “Soaps in Depth” that she is on her way to becoming a QVC host. She said she starts six months of training in September and won’t be on-the-air until February.

On another front, today we noticed some co-mingling of QVC and HSN products in the wake of the No. 1 home shopping network’s parent buying No. 2. Dooney & Bourke handbags, long a QVC staple, are now for sale on HSN.com.

We’re not sure if we like the mixing up of brands. Like one of our readers, we were kind of pissed when QVC pulled shoe brand Vince Camuto off HSN and brought it to West Chester. We thought it was kind of dissing HSN, as if it weren’t good enough to sell Camuto shoes.

HSN’s Higher Beekman Prices, QVC Garden Guy Gone

July 23, 2018

As we’ve already mentioned on Facebook, the worst-kept secret ever was already officially announced – that former Evine vendors the Beekman Boys are taking their goat soap to HSN. They premiere July 31.

But we’ve heard from since then, from several people, is the have really jacked up their prices with the move. As in $48 on HSN versus $39 on Evine for soap. Not cool.

And in another tidbit, former QVC gardening guru Phillip Watson is hitting the road as he’s decided to pursue other interests. We have never watched a home-shopping gardening in our lives, but some of his fans were upset.

Dallas Prince’s Husband Is Recovering From Second Heart Attack

July 23, 2018

This morning we were shocked to read on Facebook a post by Evine jewelry vendor Dallas Prince saying that her husband Vincent had suffered another heart attack.

Her spouse, Vincent Ciurluini, had a near fatal heart attack a few years back. We can certainly empathize with her since our dad survived a near-fatal attack and then was in and out of the hospital more than a dozen times with more heart scares.

“I almost lost Mr. Wonderful,” Prince posted. “My husband, Vincent, suffered another heart attack today while driving home. We stayed on the phone together and met at the hospital. He is out of surgery and sleeping. I have never cried that hard in my life….. truly believe in prayers & miracles.”

Vincent is also in the jewelry business, And the two of them with their gorgeous smiles are one of the most stunning couples ever.

We’re praying for Vincent’s swift recovery.

Bill Green To Rep Returning Technibond on HSN

July 16, 2018

Just a quick tidbit: Former HSN host Bill Green will now be acting as the permanent guess for shows featuring not only Sevilla Silver but the long-missing Technibond line at the No. 2 home shopping channel.

Technibond is a house-brand jewelry collection that typically features real gemstones but 14 carat gold-plated sterling silver.

Green trumpeted the news on Facebook, posting “Technibond Returns to HSN,” July 27, adding “Premiere All New” Sept 12.

QVC, HSN Parent To Report 2Q Earnings Aug. 8

July 16, 2018

Qurate Retail Inc., the company that now owns both QVC and HSN, will announce its second-quarter earnings Aug. 8.

Qurate President and CEO Mike George and Executive Chairman Greg Maffei will host a conference call to discuss results at 11 a.m.

Following their canned remarks, the company will field questions from Wall Street analysts. During the call, George and Maffei may discuss the financial performance and outlook of the company, as well as other forward looking matters.

Please call ReadyTalk at (800) 289-0438 or (323) 994-2083, passcode 4555818, at least 10 minutes prior to the call.

In addition, the earnings conference call will be broadcast live via the Internet. All interested participants should visit the Qurate Retail website at http://ir.qurateretail.com/events.cfm to register for the web cast.

Links to the press release and replays of the call will also be available on the Qurate Retail website. The conference call will be archived on the website for one year after appropriate filings have been made with the SEC.

‘Amigo’ Deasy Leaving Evine, Wife Crowell Staying

June 26, 2018

It’s official: Paul Deasy, one of Evine’s Three Amigos, is leaving the home shopping network to go to HSN this fall. But his wife Judy Crowell is staying at the Minnesota channel.

Former home shopping host Deasy relayed the news in a live Facebook chat with his wife and fellow home shopping host/jewelry vendor Crowell this weekend.

Deasy and Crowell, if we recall correctly, have both appeared on QVC and HSN as well as Evine. And Crowell was also a vendor briefly for Jewelry Television. Then the couple came on-board Evine, the No. 3 home shopping venue. Deasy’s specialty was turquoise.

Deasy and veteran Evine jewelry vendors Chuck “Jersey Boy” Clemency and Michael Valitutti were the network’s Three Amigos. But Clemency said that moniker will be retired.

Deasy said that he has a few appearances coming up on Evine in early July.

Amazon Looms, New Evine Prez, Beekman Boys to HSN ?

June 23, 2018

Because of family and work duties, we haven’t had time to blog. But here’s playing some catch-up.

E-commerce behemoth Amazon dipped its toe into home shopping show it had, “Style Code Live.” It pulled the plug on that but has not given up.

GearBrain.com reported that Amazon has filed a patent for “a live online shopping service where viewers watch products being demonstrated and can buy them with a click of their mouse or tap of the screen.”

https://www.gearbrain.com/amazon-live-tv-shopping-patent-2579439933.html

Seems this is what will be part of a service called Amazon Live.

On another note, talk has surfaced again that those goat herders the Beekman Boys, who sell natural products created from the milk of the horned beasts, are heading to HSN after recently leaving Evine.

And speaking of Evine, we used to get all its press releases. No more. So this snuck by us earlier this month: The network has named a new president, Anne Martin-Vachon, who joins the company Aug. 1.

She will report to CEO Bob Rosenblatt. Chief Merchandising Officer Michael Henry and Chief Marketing Officer Nicole Ostoya will report to Martin-Vachon, who is coming from TSC – Today’s Shopping Choice, a division of Rogers Media.

The boilerplate on her says:

She spent the last two years there as president and is credited with the operational and sales turnaround of the company. Her expertise lies in cultivating a high-performing team, leading brand transformations that resonate with customers, the instinct to curate a product assortment that shoppers want, and keen attention to top-and-bottom-line growth – all with the customers’ experience at the center.

With passion, experience, and business savvy, Ms. Martin-Vachon is uniquely suited to lead Evine’s next chapter.

“Evine has now entered the third year of its three-year turn around,” said Rosenblatt. “Anne is the perfect fit to continue to grow our sales and merchandising organization and deliver on our strategy to grow both sales and profit this year. She has a great track record and brings a balance of creative and operational strength to the position. She also has the unique position to have strong partnerships already in place with many of the brands that are here at Evine, that also appear on TSC, and will be hitting the ground running.”

During her Canadian tenure, Ms. Martin-Vachon rebranded the company (from The Shopping Channel to TSC -Today’s Shopping Choice), grew the customer base, re-energized the merchandise portfolio, and improved the broadcast and digital content experience to deepen customer engagement. Operationally, she reorganized the company, simplified processes, focused on flawless execution to deliver a better end-to-end customer experience, transformed the digital marketing strategy, and reduced inventories by 30 percent.

“Ms. Martin-Vachon has been able to leverage her considerable experience over the last couple of years with the impressive work she has done with the TSC turnaround,” said Landel Hobbs Chairman of the Board at Evine. “Her results are a testament to her focus, growing sales and margin at TSC by double digits and delivering record results during her tenure there.”

“I love the multiplatform digital retail experience – this is my sweet spot,” said Anne Martin-Vachon, incoming President, Evine. “We are storytellers. The story of great brands told by expert storytellers, and that unique trust we create with our customer. Now, as I join the company, I am looking forward to shaping the exciting next chapter in the Evine story – it’s going to be a great one!”

Prior to her appointment as President of TSC, Ms. Martin-Vachon was Chief Merchandising, Planning and Programming officer at HSN, The Home Shopping Network.

Before joining HSN, Ms. Martin-Vachon held various executive positions in the consumer package goods and retail industry including Chief Marketing Officer at Nordstrom, Inc., a leading fashion specialty retailer, Chief Executive Officer at Lise Watier Cosmétiques, Inc., a Canadian-based beauty and skincare company, and Chief Marketing Officer at Bath & Bodyworks, LLC, which operates retail stores for personal care products.

Ms. Martin-Vachon began her career at the Procter & Gamble company where she spent more than 20 years in a variety of marketing and general management leadership positions across the company‘s portfolio of beauty, personal care and household brands.

Evine’s Sales Flat In First Quarter, At $156.5 Million

June 3, 2018

Evine’s net sales were essentially flat in the first quarter, $156.5 million compared to $156.3 million a year ago, but it did cut its losses, the company reported last week.

The Minnesota-based home shopping network saw a loss of $3 million, a 7 percent improvement over last year’s $3.2 million.

“I am very encouraged by our first quarter operating results,” Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt said in a canned statement. “It was a very productive quarter for us and the results reflect the hard work and focus of many over the past two years towards our turnaround efforts.”

“Strategically, 2018 is about profitable revenue growth, product development and increasing our customer base,” he said. “We can achieve our goals if we maintain our focus and deliver on our stated strategy to position Evine as a leading omni-channel purveyor of proprietary, exclusive, and under-discovered goods. This, when combined with our fully built out direct-to-consumer and increasingly valuable video commerce platform, will deliver increased value for our shareholders, customers and vendors.”

The first-quarter highlights were:

• The top performing category in the quarter was beauty and wellness, which increased 17.3 percent year-over-year, reflecting strong results from our subscription business. Home and consumer electronics also had strong year-over-year growth of 5.5 percent with strength in our tabletop category.

• Digital net sales as a percentage of total net sales increased 240 basis points to 53 percent, reflecting our continued focus on making the customer experience as frictionless as possible across all devices.

• The return rate for the quarter was 18.9 percent; relatively flat year-over-year and within our expectations based on our merchandise mix.

• Gross profit dollars were flat year-over-year at about $56.3 million. Excluding contract termination costs of $753,000, gross profit dollars would have been approximately $57 million, or 1.3 percent better than last year.

• Operating expenses increased 2.3 percent or $1.3 million year-over-year to $58.2 million, including a $518,000 increase for executive transition expenses. The remaining increase was due to investments in our organization to support growth. Additionally, year-over-year increases in program distribution costs associated with high definition carriage were mostly offset by savings related to favorable negotiations for other carriage.

The network did some executive housecleaning, as well. Diana Purcel was appointed executive vice president and CFO, replacing Tim Peterman, formally chief operating officer/CFO. Peterman’s COO duties have been absorbed by the executive team.

And Mark Locks was appointed executive vice president of product sourcing and business development.

Beekman Boys Bow Out Of Evine

June 3, 2018

The Beekman Boys, the Madison Avenue refugees who created a goat-farm empire, are leaving Evine. Their last show is Tuesday.

The couple, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, were popular vendors on No. 3 home shopping channel, selling bar soap made from goat milk and then expanding their line to include laundry soap and facial products.

Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt announced the news during a first-quarter call with Wall Street analysts last week.

“Beekman launched on EVINE in 2015 and the EVINE team in collaboration with the Beekman 1802 brand brought the story of the brand’s founders to life for our viewers,” according to a transcript of the call from Seeking Alpha.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4178102-evine-live-inc-evlv-ceo-bob-rosenblatt-q1-2018-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

“The brand grew on EVINE from a niche bath and body line to a full lifestyle brand,” he said. “We’re saddened to report that Beekman will be having their last show on EVINE in June, however, the whole EVINE team couldn’t be prouder of watching this brand grow over the last few years.”

We always appreciated them because they got laid off from their advertising jobs, like we got laid off from a newspaper during the Great Recession. But they chose a unique path, becoming goat farmers in Upstate New York.

Their Evine fans are lamenting their departures on Facebook.

Some were pissed.

“How about a sign that says ‘STOP,’ as in we are going to stop selling our products on Evine,” a not-so-hapy camper posted on the Beekman Boys FB page. “I received a notice from Evine today that there will be some final sell of your products and then they will no longer be selling Beekman 1802. I think we deserve an explanation as “neighbors” because right now, as people receive these notices, I think you will have a lot of angry neighbors. :-(”

The Boys were coy.

“Next week will be our last visit to Evine,” they responded. “We are unable to say more at the current time, but will provide more info as soon as we can.”

A little birdie told us that the Beekman Boys were previously on HSN, and that they may be heading back there.