Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Robert Rey’

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC Should Give Thanks For Home Shopping’s Sea Change: They’ve Attracted Luxury Brands Like Gucci, Badgley Mischka And Stephen Dweck

November 26, 2009

QVC CEO Mike George

We thought we were seeing things a few days ago when we checked ShopNBC’s Web site and saw that it was selling dozens of Gucci watches. What happened, did they fall off a truck? Why was Gucci, a premier luxury brand, being sold on a home shopping network?

Then back in October, we couldn’t believe it when a sharp-eyed poster on QVC’s jewelry forum said that upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck, whose chunky gemstone masterpieces are featured in Neiman Marcus, was on the No. 1 home shopping network’s schedule. THE Stephen Dweck?

We checked QVC’s program guide ourselves, and there it was: Dweck was doing a lower-priced jewelry line for QVC called Dweck’s Diamonds. His Neiman Marcus pieces didn’t even have diamonds. The high-end stuff is made with semi-precious stones.

Also in October, we were checking the press releases on HSN’s Web site when we saw the network had struck a deal with one of the most famous and elite fashion houses: Badgley Mischka, designers of bejeweled gowns for the red carpet and celebrities.

We’ve written bits and pieces of this during the past two months, but we thought we’d tie it all up in a tidy package for Thanksgiving: There has been a sea change in the home shopping world, prompted by the disastrous economy and the crash of the luxury market.

Yes, home shopping networks have seen their sales hurt by the economy, like everyone else. But they claim they are still managing to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retailers. In fact, QVC is making a full-frontal assault on them this Black Friday, with 28 hours of special products and programming stunts starting Thanksgiving night.

The consumer press will continue to mention “cubic zirconia” in every story it writes about QVC or HSN, oblivious to the fact that some of the most esteemed names in fashion, jewelry and cosmetics — brands you find in Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus — are plying their wares on the aforementioned home shopping channels.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

Male journalists are blind to this. You still have the nerds at Gawker, a snide Web Site for the navel-gazing media, chiding HSN for selling “useless crap.”

If you have ever seen how male journalists dress or their fashion and style sensibilities, you will realize that you can’t expect them to know names like Badgley Mischka, Judith Ripka, Robert Lee Morris, our fellow Montclair, N.J., resident Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent, Smashbox, Lancome and Dweck. And these brands and artists don’t represent “useless crap.”

Luxury-good makers are hurting, and they need to make up their loss in sales. So they are turning to outlets like QVC, as CEO Mike George explained at a recent Liberty Media conference, as outlets to distribute new lower-priced lines to the masses. George cited fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s QVC alliance at the meeting held in Manhattan by his parent company, Liberty.

“This complete implosion of luxury retailing in America has caused all these folks to rethink their business model,” George said.

And that means partnering with QVC, HSN or ShopNBC.

As we said, it will take the consumer press years to figure out that home shopping channels are distribution powerhouses that have undergone a transformation, in part because of the infllux of talent like a Morris, who does couture jewelry for designers like Donna Karan and RLM Studio sterling silver jewelry for QVC.

The Big Three — QVC, HSN and ShopNBC — are aggressively trying to broaden their audience and potential customer base, those who don’t normally watch any of these three networks. That means the three are actually “programming” the channels, doing “shows” that have entertainment value, not just product shilling, so they will attract non-QVC or non-HSN watchers.

We remember once interviewing a QVC exec years ago and asking what the network’s ratings were. He said ratings were irrelevant: QVC was only concerned about how many products were sold in an hour.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

That’s a totally different tune from what we heard recently from QVC’s George, and from the strategies that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart have initiated.

Like traditional TV networks, the home shopping players want viewers to “sample” a QVC or an HSN. These new audience members, hopefully, will then see products that they want to buy.

For example, singer Natalie Cole recently did a live concert on HSN to promote a new Holiday CD set she is selling on the channel. If you’re a fan, you might tune in to HSN to see her, and then actually decide to purchase her CD. Artists such
as Jose Feliciano have also performed live on QVC.

QVC alum Stewart on a recent third-quarter conference call pointed out that actress-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, who came to ShopNBC from HSN, had succeeded in attracting new viewers to Minneapolis-based ShopNBC because she was “entertaining.” And these networks want new eyeballs.

And home shopping networks’ capacity to reach millions of consumers and do fulfillment of orders has not been lost on magazine publishers, celebrities or cable’s reality TV stars. With circulation falling, women’s magazines such as Lucky, Allure, Glamour and Self are partnering with HSN to sell subscriptions.

And stars have seen the light. In a recent interview in Oprah Winfey’s O magazine, Joan Rivers, who’s had a jewelry line on QVC for almost 20 years, told O she was on home shopping when “nobody except dead celebrities was doing merchandise on TV.”

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a celebrity or TV star who doesn’t have a home shopping line. Even Madonna was interviewed on HSN when she was selling her children’s book.

Here’s a partial list:

Paula Abdul, HSN, formerly “American Idol,” Fox

Rachel Zoe, QVC, “The Rachel Zoe Project,” Bravo

Isaac Mizrahi, QVC, “The Fashion Show,” Bravo

Padma Lakshmi, HSN, “Top Chef,” Bravo

Ramona Singer, HSN, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Bravo

Susan Lucci, HSN, “All My Children,” ABC

Carson Kressley, QVC, “How to Look Good Naked,” Lifetime Television

Dr. Robert Rey, ShopNBC, “Dr. 90210,” E! Entertainment Television

Tori Spelling, HSN, “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” Oxygen

Paula Deen, QVC, Food Network

Rachael Ray, QVC, “The Rachael Ray Show,” syndication

Ingrid Hoffmann, HSN, Food Network and Univision

Home shopping is a big business. ShopNBC is the also-ran in the group, but in the third quarter Stewart made some nice progress cutting its losses. Sales for the Big Three were all down, but down less than previous quarters.

And we are not talking chump change for these networks. The three home shopping channels generated $8.3 billion in net revenue in 2008. QVC domestic posted $4.9 billion, HSN netted $2.8 billion and ShopNBC had $568 million.

Even with revenue still slipping this year, for the first nine months QVC had revenue of $3.308 billion; HSN had net sales of $1.4 billion; and ShopNBC had $372.6 million in net sales.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ShopNBC Has Gained Traction For Turnaround, CEO Keith Stewart Says

November 18, 2009

Keith Stewart

ShopNBC saw a slip in sales, but substantially cut is losses in the third quarter, prompting officials to say Wednesday that the company’s turnaround is moving forward.

“The turnaround of ShopNBC has gained traction,” ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart said during a third-quarter conference call.

“Changes to the business merchandising efforts are starting to unlock our customers growth potential,” he added. “And once you have traction, it’s full speed ahead…Q4 is the right quarter to continue accelerating forward.”

Third-quarter revenue was $119.4 million versus $124.8 million, a 4 percent drop versus the same period last year, as ShopNBC intentionally lowered its average selling price by 49 percent and increased unit volume by 90 percent. Net average selling price was lowered to a record $95 during the quarter versus $187 in the year-ago quarter.

“This reduction in our average selling price is an essential part of our strategy to increase viewership, rebuild out customer base and increase unit volume,” ShopNBC chief financial officer Frank Elsenbast said.

He noted that ShopNBC had changed its product mix to more health, beauty and home items and less high-ticket consumer electronics products.

Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $5.6 million compared to a loss of $13.3 million in the year-ago period. The net loss for the third quarter was $12.9 million compared to a $20.8 million for the same quarter last year.

Net sales in the first nine months were $372.6 million, a drop from $423 million in the prior-year period. The net loss for the first nine months was $33.2 million, down from $54 million a year ago.

In the third quarter ShopNBC got 1.1 new customers each minute every day, and saw 4 percent growth in net orders, the first increase in seven quarters, according to Stewart.

Judy Crowell

The network added 122 vendors, included big names like actress Suzanne Somers and celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey, who has a show on E! Entertainment Television.

SHopNBC is now “the definitive destination for watches,” with sales up 66 percent in the third quarter, according to Stewart.

Beauty “was another out-performer in the quarter, and it’s firing on all cylinders,” Stewart said.

Beauty sales were up 77 percent over last year, with 29 new brands launched, including Rey’s skincare line.

On the fashion side, ShopNBC debuted 50 new brands and concepts in the third quarter with sales up 6 percent, according to Stewart. It will launch 17 fashion lines before the end of the year, including the Judy Crowell Collection, from the former QVC and HSN host.

Stewart was upbeat about the home shopping business in general and ShopNBC in particular.

“This industry itself will continue to grow over brick-and-mortar,” he said. “The power of the Internet and television is pretty tough to beat.”

As for ShopNBC, the CEO said, “We also have stated previously we will double our sales every five years.”

The network needs 15 percent compound growth quarterly to achieve that target, according to Stewart.

ShopNBC Reports 4 Percent Revenue Drop In Third Quarter, But The Home Shopping Network Cuts Losses In Half

November 18, 2009

New ShopNBC vendor Suzanne Somers

ShopNBC saw sales slip 4 percent in the third quarter as it shifted its product mix and lowered its average selling price, but the beleaguered No. 3 home shopping network substantially cut some of its losses, the company reported Wednesday.

Third-quarter revenue was $119.4 million versus $124.8 million in the same period last year, as ShopNBC intentionally lowered its average selling price by 49 percent and increased unit volume by 90 percent. Net average selling price was lowered to a record $95 during the quarter versus $187 in the year-ago quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $5.6 million compared to a loss of $13.3 million in the year-ago period. The net loss for the third quarter was $12.9 million compared to a $20.8 million for the same quarter last year.

Customer trends continued to improve with new and active customers up a record 118 percent and 64 percent, respectively, in the third quarter.

Increased customer demand in the quarter led to a 4 percent growth in net orders over last year, the company’s first increase in seven quarters. This is an acceleration of the company’s first half performance of new and active customer growth of 60 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

Return rates for the quarter were 21.9 percent versus 29.2 percent in the year-ago quarter, reflecting improvements in delivery time, customer service, product quality, and lower price points. The customer service contact rate decreased 24 percent in the quarter.

ShopNBC’s Gross profit margin was 33.2 percent, 130 basis points lower compared to last year, driven primarily by increased promotional activity. These promotions contributed to the significant new customer growth the company achieved in the quarter.

ShopNBC noted that it had added a record 122 new vendors to the new and existing merchandise categories of home, fashion, beauty and jewelry.

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart

The company launched 58 new show titles, product categories and brands in the quarter, such as Suzanne Somers, Esprit Outerwear, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Sensual Solutions by Dr. Robert Rey, Sensa Weight-Loss System, Brilliante Purely Platinum, the Culinary Institute of America and Griot’s Auto Care.

And a record 103 new guests, 90 of those being experts in their field, were added to the network’s talent ranks, including the hottest celebrity hair stylist Ted Gibson, chef Marcus Samuelson and shoe expert Meghan Cleary.

Operating expenses were trimmed $12 million year-over-year or 20 percent in the quarter. This decrease was driven by broad-based reductions in the company’s cost structure, including lower cable and satellite fees, lower headcount versus the prior-year period, and a significant decline in transactional costs in the areas of order capture, customer service, credit and fulfillment.

In the quarter, ShopNBC successfully concluded all of its carriage agreements that were up for renewal in the last year while preserving 100 percent of its distribution footprint of 73 million homes, leading to a cost savings of about $24 million in 2009 and improved channel positions in many markets.

“Merchandising efforts to unlock our customer growth potential showed real signs of progress in the third quarter, as we build new businesses in strategic product categories,” ShopNBC president and CEO Keith Stewart said in a prepared statement.

“Record gains were made in new and active customer counts,” he said. “Net shipped units were at record levels. E-commerce is proving to be a powerful complement for additional growth. With a focus on delivering a premium shopping experience across our multichannel platform of TV and the Web, the customer is reacting strongly to our initiatives.”

Stewart added, “Year-to-date EBITDA, as adjusted, is $18.2 million better than last year. We are highly focused on delivering the high expectations that have grown during the turnaround of ShopNBC. I remain confident about our fourth quarter plans.”

Former Host Kim Parrish Makes The Move From HSN To ShopNBC With Her Apparel Line Friday Night

November 13, 2009

about_2009

Kim Parrish

Former HSN host and vendor Kim Parrish makes her maiden voyage on ShopNBC Friday might, with her Kim Parrish Collection. Her show premieres at 7 p.m.

The pieces include a ruffle top, jeans and a dolman sleeve top, among other items.

Parrish has a devout following, who seem eager to see her on the No. 3 home shopping channel.

There have been a number of HSN vendors who have landed at ShopNBC, most notably actress-author Suzanne Somers and celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey.

HSN’s Kim Parrish The Latest To Make The Switch To ShopNBC, According To Mindless Rants

October 29, 2009

Looks like yet another HSN defection to ShopNBC, snooped out by our fellow Jersey native Hugh Jee, master of the blog Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants (which has some great music, as well as political and sports coverage).

He reported Thursday that HSN host-turned-vendor Kim Parrish is taking her clothing line to ShopNBC.

Parrish announced the switch on her Facebook page, according to Hugh Jee and his Mindless Rants. Her collection will debut Nov. 13, Friday the Thirteeth.

Vendors are really playing musical chairs with home shopping networks this year. Suzanne Somers and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey moved from HSN to ShopNBC, while jewelry designers such as Dallas Prince went from ShopNBC to HSN.

It’s hard to know who instigated the switches: Were the vendors’ contracts not renewed, or did they want to jump ship?

After New Line On ShopNBC, Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey And HSN Seem To Have Parted Ways

October 29, 2009

Thanks to a tip from one of our readers, we’ve learned that Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey’s fancy undies and bras have been pulled off, so to speak, HSN’s Web site.

We guess that answers our question — e-mailed three times to HSN and Reys’ PR people — about whether the physician will continue to be selling his Shapewear line even though last week he started to selll his Senuous Solutions skincare creams on ShopNBC.

A poster to one of HSN’s online forums first reported that Rey’s goodies on Monday were deleted fom the No. 2 home shopping channel’s site. HR passd on that information to us.

Rey is the star of the E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210.”

We Take Third Shot At Finding Out If Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey Will Keep HSN Gig, While Also Selling Product On ShopNBC

October 28, 2009

Call us crazy, but we’re taking a third shot to try to find out if Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey will continue to appear on HSN now that he’s got a gig at rival ShopNBC.

Rey, star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” has been selling Shapewear, fancy undies and bras, on HSN for some time. But last weekend he went on  ShopNBC selling a skincare line, Sensual Solutions.

We don’t offhand recall a time when a vendor was selling goods on two home shopping networks at the same time. We want to know if Rey’s tenure with HSN is over.  

So far, we have sent three e-mails to HSN corporate, which states it will only take questions  from “a media professional with a specific request.” No response yet. Maybe HSN doesn’t think The Homeshoppingista is a media professional.

Not for nothing, and not to toot our own horn, but we will when we must. We went to one of the best J-schools in the country, Medill.  We helped launch Crain’s New York Business. We won one of the most prestigious awards for business journalism, the Gerald Loeb Award, for a story on the impact of AIDS on the fashion industry.

We covered the cable industry for 16 years at Multichannel News, writing stories about the business and programming such as HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

And we are still reporting on the cable business, the multi-billion dollar home shopping segment, with this blog. QVC and ShopNBC are totally owned or partially owned by two key media giants, John Malone’s Liberty Media and NBC.

In between job hunting, we are also writing for the growing Web site NewJerseyNewsroom.com, with a recent profile on Jersey’s Kurt Sutter, creator of the FX hit “Sons of Anarchy.”

We believe this all qualifies us as a media professional. 

We have e-mailed Rey twice, no response. But then we learned today that he has a PR firm that handles the media, and we shot an e-mail to them. Maybe they will answer our question. 

And we even e-mailed ShopNBC this morning, asking them if they know if Rey will remain on HSN.

Once again, we’ll let you know what we hear.

We’re Still Waiting To Hear From HSN and Dr. Robert Rey, About HSN And Dr. Robert Rey And ShopNBC

October 27, 2009

We just sent — for a second time — HSN and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey the big question that home shopping fans want to know: Will the sassy doctor remain on both HSN and ShopNBC?

We first e-mailed Rey, the star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” and HSN on Sunday. That’s the day that Rey premiered his skincare products, Sensual Solutions, on ShopNBC. But Rey also sells an undie and bra line, Shapewear, on HSN.

The query is simple: Will Rey still be selling Shapewear on HSN, even though he is also on competing network ShopNBC?

Monday we sent the same e-mail again to Rey and HSN.

We’re not holding our breath that we’ll get an answer, but we may give you periodic updates.

On a totally different subject, with tonight’s “PM Style” on QVC we might initiate one of our plans: To keep track of every time host Lisa Robertson says she is going to buy an item she is selling, and publish that list here.

If Robertson bought something every single time she said that, she’d need a house the size of Giants Stadium to hold all that QVC merchandise.

And we also wish QVC hosts like Robertson would stop calling the products they are hawking “ideas.” We are not looking to buy “ideas” on home shopping networks, we’re looking for jewelry, mascara, etc.

And while we’re at it regarding Robertson, we hope she will stop telling us that with Easy Pay, an “idea” is only “a dollar a day.”

Man, we got up on the wrong side of the bed today, didn’t we?

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey Tells ShopNBC Viewers To Drop Their Pants, But Will He Remain On Both His Old Home Shopping Venue HSN And ShopNBC?

October 26, 2009

If you’re a plastic surgeon, why would you be selling two products — anti-aging skin cream and shapewear — that can eliminate the need for plastic surgery? That’s just one of the questions we would like to ask Dr. Robert Rey, of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210” fame.

The other question is will he continue to be a vendor for HSN, since he just debuted a line of products on ShopNBC Sunday. Home shopping fans are clamoring for an answer to this question, too.

Brazilian-born Rey has been selling his Shapewear line, state-of-the art undies and bras that make you look skinnier and bustier, on HSN for some time. But today he premiered his “Sensual Solutions” skincare line on ShopNBC. He did two shows, and apparently sold out all the products he had on his first show, so ShopNBC was taking advance orders.

We caught him on his second appearance, and he was his usual bawdy self. We like the guy, but others feel differently.

The Beverly Hills surgeon said that despite what the public might think, many good-looking women in that wealthy enclave “are not getting plastic surgery” and that “aging is a choice.”

Rey said that these women are buying top-of-the-line skincare products, like his creams, to look good.

“If you want to get that $7 crap in the drugstore, go get it,” Rey told viewers, but he said it’s not going to work.

Darn, that’s not good news for us, because we won’t be able to afford his $99 “Instant Wrinkle Erase” skin cream until we get a full-time job.

The good doc, who said he has had 30,000 patients, admitted that he used to inject his own forehead (he did not say Botox) to get rid of its wrinkles, but stopped when he learned about the negative effect the shots have on the body.

Rey, who is a year and a half away from 50, then said that muscles are what cause wrinkles. Offering a somewhat creepy anecdote, Rey said that when he worked as a trauma doctor, he could immediately tell when a patient was dead because their faces would be smooth (tying back to that muscle thing).

Doc, how about determining if someone is dead the old-fashioned way, by taking a pulse?

Describing how damaging the sun is to skin, Rey told ShopNBC viewers, “Drop your pants, and you will see your tushy looks younger than your face.” We guess that would not hold for nudists who like to sunbath.

Rey vouched for his skincare products, which include an Anti-Aging Body Lift Cream, by saying that vast clinical trials were done on his creams. The doctor added that he was originally a chemistry major, No. 1 in his class, so he knows his stuff.

We e-mailed Rey and HSN and asked whether the handsome, dark plastic surgeon will continue to have his HSN line, despite the fact he is a vendor now for rival ShopNBC. We’ll let you know the answer.

Is Celebrity Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey Two-Timing HSN? He’s Got A New Skincare Line On ShopNBC

October 23, 2009

Has celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey jumped ship from HSN, or is be playing both sides of the home shopping fence by also launching at new line on ShopNBC?

Rey, star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” has been doing a line of shapewear for HSN.

But HSN rival ShopNBC announced Friday it will be launching Rey’s new skincare line, Sensual Solutions. The doctor, who some find swarmy but we actually like, will debut on ShopNBC this Sunday.

Is he cheating on HSN with ShopNBC? Or is his deal with HSN over?

We can’t remember another example of a vendor having different lines on two competing home shopping networks.