Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

QVC Honcho Made $7.7 Million Last Year

April 11, 2018

It’s that time of the year, proxy time, when we tear out our hair wishing we had become big company honchos rather than ink-stained wretches. So wanna guess how much the QVC bigwig Mike George raked in last year?

According to a filing with the SEC on Monday, last year the QVC president and CEO received $7.7 million in executive compensation, a big increase over his $5.4 million in 2016. In 2017 he had a base salary of $1.25 million, $4.3 million in stock awards, $2 million in non-equity incentive plan comp and a piddling $171,000 in other comp, chump change.

Here’s a bit about his employment arrangement:

On September 27, 2015, the compensation committee approved a new compensation arrangement with Michael A. George, the President and Chief Executive Officer of QVC. The arrangement provides for a five year employment term beginning December 16, 2015 and ending December 31, 2020, with an annual base salary of $1.25 million and an annual target cash bonus equal to 100% of Mr. George’s annual base salary.

The arrangement also provides Mr. George with the opportunity to earn annual performance-based equity incentive awards during the employment term, as described in more detail below. In connection with the approval of his compensation arrangement, Mr. George was granted the 2015 Term Options with respect to shares of QRTEA, also as described in more detail below. Mr. George’s compensation arrangement was memorialized in the George Employment Agreement executed on December 16, 2015.

Following its acquisition of HSN, Liberty Interactive Corp. is being renamed Qurate Retail Inc. It will hold a conference call to discuss its first-quarter results May 10 at 11 a.m.

Following prepared remarks, the company will host a brief Q&A session during which management will accept questions regarding Qurate.

The call will be broadcast live via the internet. All interested participants should visit the Qurate website at to register for the webcast. Links to the press release and replays of the call will also be available on the Qurate website. The conference call will be archived on the website for one year after appropriate filings have been made with the SEC.


Jewelry Designer Dweck At QVC, Wendi Russo Exits Evine

April 3, 2018

Catching up:

We’ve long admired upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck’s gorgeous chunky gem pieces, which we would longingly gaze at in showcases in stores like Neiman Marcus.

Now Dweck is doing a jewelry line for QVC. The pieces are not cheap, but they are less pricey than his Neiman stuff. One silver chain was already on wait list.

We’re told the Evine host Wendi Ross has left the network. From what we can tell from her Facebook page, she is coaching young women how to complete in beauty pageants now.

She had been at the home shopping network since June 2004, a pretty long run of 14 years.

Ex-Makeup Mogul Bobbi Brown Brings Wellness To QVC

April 3, 2018

Former makeup mogul Bobbi Brown, who lives in our town of Montclair, N.J., will be debuting a wellness line on QVC on April 20, according to The Sunday New York Times.

The Times did a mega-profile on Brown, who also spends time in a multimillion dollar apartment on Manhattan’s High Line, that unveiled her plans and gave a lot of tidbits about her personal life and career.

Brown, of course, made her name by creating a natural-style beauty line.

In the midst of building that empire, she and her husband developer Steven Plofker, who we covered at Montclair Local, rubbed elbows with celebs galore. She drops quite a few names in The Times piece – evenings with Mike Jagger, fellow Montclair resident Stephen Colbert, and Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen’s spouse.

But as you may or may not know, Brown sold her makeup company for what The Times said was $75 million. Brown claims she doesn’t remember the sale price.
Now she and her husband have opened an upscale boutique hotel in Montclair, The George Inn, and as we said, Brown is coming to QVC with her new wellness products, Beauty Evolution.

Evine Hires EVP Of Product Development

March 23, 2018

Evine has appointed Mark Locks as executive vice president of product sourcing and business development, the home shopping network said this week.

Locks, who will report Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt, is tasked with strengthening the company’s product-development pipeline.

Locks joins Evine from Tiger J LLC, which manufactures fashion-forward clothing and accessories for consumers both domestically and internationally, where he served as president of global operations.

He is credited with developing celebrity brands in the video-retail business including Serena Williams, Giuliana Rancic, Lisa Rinna, Vanessa Williams, Nicole Richie and Queen Latifah,

“Mark is bringing his considerable talent, experience and Rolodex to Evine where he will oversee enhanced product development operations for new business opportunities,” Rosenblatt said in a canned statement. “We have watched him develop strong brands and identities over the years, and we are thrilled to have him join the Evine family.”

Evine Partners with Cosmo to Explore Sex ‘After Dark’ Friday

March 22, 2018

Sex and shopping: What more could a chick want?

Evine has ventured into territory few home shopping channels have gone with its weekend late-night “Evine After Dark” shows, selling items such as lubricants and vibrators and naughty lingerie.

And tomorrow, Friday, it will televise a special two-hour episode where it is partnering with Cosmopolitan magazine to unite “in empowering women (and men) to explore their intimacy and relationships in a safe and comfortable environment,” according to the press release.

Showtime is Friday, March 23, at 1 a.m. ET.

Faye Brennan, Cosmopolitan’s deputy editor and sex and relationships expert, will be Friday night’s special guest. (What’s a nice Irish girl doing with that gig?)

“We promised to deliver a groundbreaking second season of ‘Evine After Dark,’ and are thrilled to combine forces with Cosmopolitan—the number one women’s magazine,” Evine Chief Marketing Officer Nicole Ostoya said in a canned statement.

“Adding Cosmo’s Faye Brennan to the lineup will bring a new, fiercely entertaining component to the show as she lights up the room with inspiring messages and provides viewers with tangible ways to increase their confidence in the boudoir.”

The March 23 episode of “Evine After Dark” will be themed “As Seen in Cosmo” and will feature a variety of products from the magazine.

In addition, Brennan will share content from the April issue of Cosmo, including results from their reader quiz, “Secrets of Forever Couples” and “Turn Up the Heat” bedroom tips.

Brennan will also give viewers a peek at Cosmo’s May editorial, including 56 of Cosmo’s best sex secrets and the magazine’s official 2018 dating dictionary. The editor will also do a Facebook Live presentation before the show at 11 p.m. ET March 22.

“As deputy editor of Cosmo, I have one goal—empowering women to own who they are and be who they want to be,” Brennan said in her statement. “It’s absolutely thrilling to have the opportunity to partner with Evine and ‘After Dark’ to connect directly with women through live television. Being aligned with such a positive and empowering production is truly exhilarating and I’m so excited to get to know the Evine viewers and share this journey with them.”

In addition to exclusive content, viewers and online shoppers will be offered a special subscription offer to Cosmopolitan.

If They’re Wearing Extensions And You Know It Clap Your Hands

March 19, 2018

OK, raise your hand: Who’s tired of long hair extensions on home shopping hosts? We sure are.

The biggest offender as far as we’re concerned is HSN’s Shannon Smith, whose extensions seem pretty obvious and artificial to us. They don’t readily blend in with her real hair, in our opinion.

We anticipate we’ll get angry posts saying that it is her real hair, etc.

And there are a number of Evine and Jewelry Television hosts who are extensioned-out.

‘The Chew’s’ Michael Symon Came, Went On HSN

March 19, 2018

Sorry, we were so busy with our new gig that we didn’t get a chance to write this up last week.

Michael Symon already appeared on HSN, and we missed him. But we wanted to post this because we enjoy him on “The Chew.” Mario Batali’s fall from grace, and dismissal from that daytime show when he was accused in the #MeToo wave was regrettable, because we liked his chemistry with Symon and most everyone else on the show.

Here’s the press release:

Award-Winning Chef, TV Personality and Restaurateur Michael Symon Brings His Culinary Expertise to HSN With Exclusive Cookware Collection

Michael and Wife Liz Symon Will Appear Live on HSN March 16th During HSN’s 14-Hour Spring Cooks Event

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer, HSN, is partnering with chef Michael and Liz Symon to launch Symon Home, their first-ever collection of cooking and entertaining must-haves. The culinary couple will debut the new line March 16 during HSN’s annual Spring Cook’s Event.

Based on years of experience in their own restaurants, Michael, in partnership with his wife, restaurateur and wine aficionado, Liz Symon, developed Symon Home to bring customers quality chef’s tools at an accessible price. The 7-piece collection features enameled cast iron with high gloss finish making great oven to table pieces. Symon Home will range in price from $17.95 to $69.95.

“Liz and I are thrilled to be able to share our secrets to 25+ years of entertaining and cooking together at home,” said Michael Symon. “Our new line, Symon Home, offers all the cooking and entertaining tools you need to make you look like a star with almost no effort at all.”

Symon home will debut during the HSN Spring Cooks Event which will begin at midnight on March 16th. The event will feature trusted celebrity chefs including Ming Tsai and FOOD & WINE Culinary Director Justin Chapple, as well as key national brands, to provide great products, helpful recipes and tips to give customers everything they need to cook and entertain this spring. The 14-hour event will feature special offers and pricing, along with reduced shipping and 5 interest-free payments on all kitchen and food items throughout the day.

“HSN is committed to providing unique culinary collaborations to consumers,” said Vanessa Dusold, Vice President Merchandising, HSN. “We are thrilled to launch Michael and Liz’s new collection, Symon Home, on HSN to bring their functional, practical and high tech kitchen essentials to our customers.”

For more information and to shop Symon Home and the HSN Cooks collections, visit keyword: HSN Cooks and join the conversation @HSN on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest using the #HSNCooks hashtag.

Evine’s Net Sales Flat in Fourth Quarter

March 15, 2018

Evine’s net sales in the fourth quarter last year were basically flat, up about 1 percent, to $192.7 million year over year, the home shopping network reported Wednesday.

The channel did see a great improvement over its net income, which skyrocketed 214 percent, albeit to just $6.4 million.

And the muckety-mucks at the No. 3 shopping channel felt they had a lot of ‘splaining to do.

Here’s CEO Bob Rosenblatt’s statement:

I’m pleased to report our fourth-quarter results demonstrate the continued progress we’re making in improving profitability and strengthening our financial position.

We reached many financial milestones in the fourth quarter and the fiscal year, including the highest fourth-quarter net income in the history of the company, the highest fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA since 2010, and the first fiscal year of positive net income since 2007.

I’m proud of the many accomplishments we made this year and also realize that we have the opportunity for continued progress, especially on revenue growth, as we leverage our undervalued interactive digital commerce assets and expertise to scale our enterprise and continue to improve our profitability and free cash flow.

Our fourth-quarter sales growth of 1.2 percent was below our original estimates as we decided to focus on execution and profitability. As such, during the quarter we chose to minimize aggressive promotions and pulled back on marketing spend, that might have garnered higher revenues in the short term but would not have been additive to profitability or to our overall brand and company strategy.

We had many successes during the fourth quarter and fiscal year by broadening our merchandising assortment vis-a-vis brand launches and extensions. In addition to that, there still remains ample opportunity and ‘white space’ to continue to strengthen and add to all merchandise categories.

We have already made significant progress doing this during the fall 2017 season and this progress is already beginning to bear fruit in 2018. The most accretive component of this to our contribution margin is in our proprietary and exclusive brand product areas. To that end, the progress to continue to minimize friction throughout the customer experience across all platforms along with continuing to broaden our assortment in proprietary and exclusive brand product areas will be the two key focuses in fiscal 2018.

Strategically, 2018 is the third year of our turnaround plan. This year is about profitable revenue growth, product development and customer growth. Reestablishing profitability and strengthening the balance sheet these past two years has not been easy but I’m proud of the strong foundation we’ve built and believe it positions us well for profitable top line growth in 2018 and beyond.

In the fourth quarter the top-performing category was home and consumer electronics, which increased 10 percent year-over-year. The beauty category grew slightly year-over-year while fashion, jewelry and watches both decreased slightly year-over-year.

The return rate for the quarter was 19 percent, an increase of 60 basis points year-over-year.

For the full 2017, net income dropped about 3 percent, to $648.2 million.
The top category during the year was home and consumer electronics, which rose 3 percent year-over-year compared to a 22 percent decrease in 2016. Fashion and beauty had slight decreases and jewelry and watches were down 6 percent.
The return rate for the year was 19 percent, an improvement of 40 basis points year-over-year.

QVC Up, HSN Down In Fourth Quarter

March 2, 2018

Liberty Interactive Corp., which now owns both QVC and HSN, reported fourth-quarter earnings for both home shopping channels on Thursday. It was a mixed bag.

The domestic QVC network saw its revenue increase 4 percent, to $2.029 billion, in the quarter year over year. In contrast, it was a tough go for HSN, which experienced an 8 percent revenue drop, to $712 million from $771 million in the year-ago quarter.

Liberty Interactive also announced that it is rebranding its various retailing entities – QVC, HSN, zulily and Cornerstone Brands – from the name QVC Group to Qurate Retail Group Inc.

Liberty Interactive’s purchase of HSN led to $43 million in severance-related costs, which were incurred by HSN. We assume that relates to the exit of HSN’s top management, including former president Bill Brand. Perhaps those costs dragged down HSN’s numbers.

“QVC US and International posted excellent fourth quarter results, and we were pleased to complete the acquisition of HSN,” Liberty Interactive President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a canned statement.

“We anticipate closing the acquisition of GCI and the subsequent creation of two asset-backed stocks, Qurate and GCI Liberty, on March 9. With the separation, Mike George will become President and CEO of Qurate. Mike has done a fantastic job building QVC, delighting customers and driving value for shareholders over the last twelve years. We look forward to him leading this innovative set of companies.”

In the fourth quarter, QVC US saw year-over-year gains in all categories except jewelry, Liberty Interactive said in its press release.

“The operating income margin and adjusted OIBDA margin performance primarily reflects higher fixed costs associated with incentive compensation and HSNi integration consulting services, as well as higher inventory obsolescence and marketing expenses, which were partially offset by lower bad debt and amortization,” the release said.

”The adjusted OIBDA for the fourth quarter includes $7 million of integration costs and a $6 million increase in management bonuses.”

For 2017 versus 2016, QVC’s revenue was basically flat, $6.14 billion compared with $6.12 billion.

QVC enjoyed year-over-year gains in all categories except jewelry. The full year operating income margin and adjusted OIBDA margin performance primarily reflect lower bad debt expense, higher product margins and lower amortization, which were partially offset by higher incentive compensation and inventory obsolescence costs. Adjusted OIBDA in 2017 includes $9 million of HSN integration costs and a $26 million increase in management bonuses.

HSN revenue declined in all categories in the fourth quarter. The average selling price dropped, primarily driven by product mix shift away from electronics, which typically are higher-priced items. The return rate improved due to a continued positive trend in several categories.

Operating income and operating income margin declined, driven by the aforementioned transaction expenses. Adjusted OIBDA and adjusted OIBDA margin improved, largely due to about $16 million in incremental costs incurred in the prior year associated with the implementation of HSN’s warehouse automation initiative. Additionally, the increase in adjusted OIBDA margin was driven by higher product margins, lower selling and marketing costs and a decrease in personnel expenses.

For 2017 compared with 2016, HSN’s revenue dropped 5 percent, to $2.343 billion.

“HSN revenue declined in all categories except home for the full year 2017,” the press release said. “Average selling price declined, primarily driven by product mix shift away from electronics. The sales return rate improved due to a continued positive trend in several categories. The decrease in operating income margin and adjusted OIBDA margin() was due to increases in personnel costs, bad debt expense and lower shipping margins, partially offset by improved product margins and lower selling and marketing costs.”

Evine Debuts ‘Inventor Showdown’

March 1, 2018

QVC has its inventor competition. HSN has its inventor competition. And now, not to be undone, Evine has an invention competitor.

Evine will premiere “Inventor Showdown,” a reality selling show featuring inventors from across the country who will compete for the prize of “top inventor,” this Sunday,

Inventors discovered by Akos “The Solutionist” Jankura will vie for viewers’ votes during the five-week series.

“’Inventor Showdown’ is a reality show like no other where we put the fate of these inventors in the hands of our customers,” Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt said in a canned statement. “We know our viewers are looking for new and unique products that have a compelling story behind them. ‘Inventor Showdown’ is the perfect format for our customers to discover new product while using their voting power to help a budding inventor get their big break.”

The series will feature four new contestants per episode with one winner from each moving on to participate in the finale show. The inventors, hand-picked by Jankura, will have the opportunity to showcase their products and share with viewers their personal stories behind the items.

Fans can vote for their favorite by purchasing their products while the show is airing, online or on their mobile devices. The four qualifying rounds will air Sunday mornings starting next Sunday with the finale on Sunday, April 8, where one winner will be crowned.

The winner of “Inventor Showdown” will be invited back to Evine and receive future programming to sell their items.

“I have had the privilege to work with some amazing inventors throughout my career, but I am particularly thrilled with the lineup of individuals we have assembled for this series,” Jankura said in his canned statement. “They each bring something unique and innovative to Evine, and I am excited to see them compete live on a television stage. ‘Inventor Showdown’ will showcase hard-to-find items with problem-solving and easy-to-use features. I can’t wait to see who emerges as the victor!”