Posts Tagged ‘Home Shopping’

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman To Give Company Spiel At Two Investor Conferences

December 17, 2009

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman will present at the Citi 20th Annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco on Jan. 6 at 12:50 p.m. and the Cowen 8th Annual Consumer Conference in New York City on Jan. 11 at 8 a.m.

To listen to a live broadcast of Grossman’s presentation, you can visit the investor relations section of HSN’s Web site at www.hsni.com. An archived broadcast will be available shortly following the presentation.

Now You Can Get Your Godiva Chocolate, And Chocolate-Scented Candles, At QVC

November 28, 2009

Premium sweets are coming to QVC: Godiva Chocolates arrive next Friday.

The No. 1 home shopping channel will have a half-hour show, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., where it will debut the tasty chocolates. Godiva is usually sold in company-owned stores in malls or in department stories such as Lord & Taylor and Bloomingsale’s.

Here is what QVC’s Web site has to say:

“Since 1926, Godiva Chocolate, originally named in honor of Lady Godiva, continues to be the leader in premium chocolates. Master Chocolatier Joseph Draps introduced Godiva chocolate to Belgium when he opened his first shop in Brussels, unveiling his unique formula of rich chocolate with unparalleled smoothness. Today, the same mouthwatering assortment comes to QVC, offering you and your loved ones gourmet chocolate of the highest quality, made from the purest ingredients. Treat your family, friends and holiday guests to delectable chocolates, beautifully presented in exquisite European-style gold ballotins and festive, seasonal packaging.”

The priciests Godiva item that QVC has, a $53 Chocolatier Indulgence Gift Tower, is already on Wait List.

QVC is also selling two Godiva Chocolate-scented candles for $30.

If you’re in the boondocks and not near any Godiva Chocolate stores, we guess getting the goodies from QVC makes sense.

But we’re not going to pay shipping and handling for something we can buy at the Short Hills Mall, if we could afford it.

Do You Know ‘Home Shopping Diva’ Meg Flather? Well, Apparently Millions Of You Love Her

November 23, 2009

Have you ever heard of Meg Flather?

According to a press release, Flather “is known to millions as one of home shopping television’s most popular on-air personalities,” appearing on QVC, HSN and ShopNBC.

It says she worked on home shopping networks as “a cosmetics salesperson…One of television’s top cosmetic hawkers beloved by millions of women.”

Well, we’ve been watching home shopping networks for at least 15 years — maybe more — and we don’t know who the hell she is. Never heard of her. In other words, the press release is full of crap.

Be that as it may, Flather managed to get a blurb Monday in the “Inner Tube” column of the New York Daily News’s TV section. The item plugged Flather’s Dec. 12 performance at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan. Her show, where she does comedy and sings, is called “Home Shopping Diva…songs of love, loss, & lipstick.”

The News says that Flather is looking to trademark her moniker “Home Shopping Diva.” Yes, we’re sure there’s a long line of women looking to use that name.

The press release on Flather’s Dec. 12 gig says, “In addition to hommage to the great female singers and composers who inspired her musical career, Flather’s ‘Home Shopping Diva’ includes some comedy songs as well as sendups of the home shopping TV phenomenon and heartfelt snippets of her work advising women seeking the lost luster of their youth.”

We can’t wait.

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.”

Fashion Design Team Badgley Mischka Swaps The Red Carpet For Home Shopping Trunk Show On HSN

November 18, 2009

Who’d a thunk that the red-carpet fashion house Badgley Mischka would one day be selling a line on HSN.

But the two designers and celebrity favorites, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, premiered their American Glamour line of apparel, accessories and jewelry during a two-hour show Tuesday night. The first hour was clothes and handbags, the second devoted to jewelry.

“We’re here to bring glamour to American life,” said Badgley, who is the one with the glasses.

The team made its name designing beautful beaded and embellished evening gowns.

The price points on their HSN goods ranged from $99 for a silk tunic to $499 for a snakeskin satchel.

“This is truly one of our luxe bags,”  Badgley said.

Host Colleen Lopez said the handbag was the best-selling item on the HSN Web site out of the collection, and it was our favorite item. It sold out.

The Badgley Mischka foray on HSN is part of a trend of high-end designers, with the luxury market suffering, looking for distribution of lower-priced lines to the masses.

The designing duo started its couture company 20 years ago, with a collection of black dresses.

Badgley seemed like he had a smirk on his face throughout the show, but maybe he was just nervous. But all in all, he and his partner Mischka were pretty down to earth and came across quite well.

Lopez who couldn’t stop gushing about the merchandise.

“I might hyperventilate before this whole show is over,” she told the two designers.

Lopez was wearing a silk top that could be worn off the shoulders, the only place that Lopez said she didn’t have cellulite. It was $89.90, and she wore it in mocha.

Badgley got a surprise when his aunt in Nevada called in to wish him luck on the new line. She said she had purchased a tunic and was looking at some other items to buy. Mark, what kind of a nephew are you? Couldn’t you get her your stuff wholesale?

Of the jewelry, one of our favorites was Badgley Mischka’s Maltese crosses, but there was also an unusual watch. It looked like a vintage crystal bracelet at first glance, but was in fact a working watch. Mischka said it was inspired by a piece they found in a shop in Rhode Island.

Badgley and Mischka won’t be back on HSN until March, according to Lopez.

ShopNBC Gets Back A Husband-And-Wife Team As QVC/HSN Alum Judy Crowell Joins Hubby Paul Deasy On The No. 3 Home Shopping Network

November 18, 2009

Veteran home shopping host Judy Crowell says her return to Minnesota is like Dorothy coming back home from Oz.

Crowell, an Army brat, began her career in home shopping in 1989 at Cable Value Network, CVN, in Minnesota in1989. Later this month, Nov. 24, Crowell will debut a new accessory and clothing line on ShopNBC, which is in Minneapolis.

“It’s almost like Dorothy,” Crowell said. “I clicked my heels and I’m going back home again, full circle.”

Crowell and her husband Paul Deasy, who is guest host for a jewelry line on ShopNBC, both started their gigs as home shopping hosts in 1989. While Crowell was at CVN, Deasy was at Home Shopping Network, now called HSN.

“Ironically, as life would have it, our lives were parallel before we met each other,” Crowell said.

Judy Crowell and Springer Spaniel friend Brie

Crowell had also traveled to places like China so she could discuss jade on the air, while Deasy have been to Africa at tanzanite mines and to Australia to see opals mined, to better describe them.

The husband-and-wife team have a common love of travel and jewelry, as well as “the love of really being able to tell a story about where things come from so that our customer could appreciate the experience and what it takes to get the product into their hands, that it’s not just plucked from a tree,” according to Crowell.

Crowell and Deasy both first worked at QVC and then HSN together, until exiting the No. 2 home shopping channel.

One of our most-asked questions is why did the married couple leave HSN. Deasy exited in December 2007, while Crowell left in April 2008.

After 18 years of each being a host, Crowell said, “We each kind of came to the conclusion that it was just time for a new challenge….That really is the truth. It was just time to move on and do some new things.”

Crowell and Deasy each made the choice to leave HSN themselves, according to Crowell.

“Paul had made the decision to leave first, and I was thinking about it,” she said. “I really had one of these moments, it was actually a long weekend, of sitting in front of the fireplace and staring into the fire and thinking I’ve been a television personality for 28 years, and now I’m thinking about getting out of the business and taking a chance, with no net.”

It was not an easy decision, according to Crowell.

“It was really scary because I really love the business and I loved being on television and I love the interaction with the customers,” she said. “That’s why you do it. …Whenever that phone call would come in, and it was somebody who would say, ‘Hi, I’ve been watching you for so many years. It’s so nice to talk to you. Say hi to Paul.’ That’s the joy in this…and now you’re saying goodbye to it.”

Paul Deasy

Full-year non-compete clauses kept Crowell and Deasy off the air, and gave them time to build their own businesses.

“If you were to ask ‘Why were they gone for so long, that answers part of that question,’” she said.

In addition to planning her ShopNBC line, Crowell has been doing voiceover work. She has also joined the World Fashion Council and is taking classes to be certified a fashion trend forecaster.

Crowell and Deasy approached ShopNBC about doing lines for it, according to Crowell.

“At one point we were talking about, ‘You can to one channel, I can go to another,'” she said. “And we considered that for awhile, but as timing would have it, as the needs of the different channels would have it, it turned out as they say, meant to be.”

Crowell and Deasy are in a way replacements for home-shopping’s other veteran husband-and-wife team, Pam and Wes McCoy. The McCoy’s were let go as hosts from ShopNBC in a cost-cutting measure, but Pam still has a clothing line on ShopNBC. 

The jewelry line Deasy guest hosts, the Gem Insider, debuted in July.

“ShopNBC has treated us like gold,” Crowell said. “They’re thrilled to have us both on board.”

Deasy’s book “Colored Gemstones” is sold on ShopNBC. And he is working on a second book on gems, this one on opals.

“From now on he’s going to be focusing on individual gemstones,” Crowell said. “And then he eventually wants to write another book similar to the one that’s already available, but on another whole series of gems that he didn’t have a chance to touch on in this book. There are hundreds of other ones.”

The night before their 2003 wedding, Crowell and Deasy with Kristen and Kyle

Crowell and Deasy still live in Florida, where their former employer HSN is based. They don’t plan to relocate to Minneapolis, where ShopNBC is located.

First of all, Deasy’s children, Kristen and Kyle, from a prior marriage live in Florida, as do Crowell’s parents.

And Crowell said that she has resided in the Midwest, in states such as Wisconsin, while working for TV before coming to home shopping.

“It’s a great place to live,” Crowell said. “It’s absolutely beautiful. The people are wonderful, but it’s really cold…. There’s something about landing in Tampa. Whenever we come home, it feels like a vacation.”

Crowell accompanies Deasy when he travels to Minneapolis for his ShopNBC shows.

“We’re up there a couple of times a month,” she said.

It looks like Crowell and Deasy have found happiness.

“We’re a great team,” she said. “We’re really lucky. It took a long time to find.”

See related story, “QVC and HSN Veteran Judy Crowell Explains Her New Line on ShopNBC.”

Actress Molly Sims Makes A ‘Grayceful’ Debut On HSN With Her Fashion Jewelry Line

November 14, 2009

569882_alt1Actress-model Molly Sims is a jewelry geek like us. And it showed during the launch of her new HSN line, Grayce, Friday night. That’s a good thing.

“Jewelry is my passion,” Sims said.

The actress, who was in TV’s “Vegas,” has certainly received a lot of press for her fashion jewelry line, including coverage on “The Today Show,” and in Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine and InStyle magazine. But it was a bit much for HSN to call Sims’ jewelry premiere a “World Launch.”

The long-haired blonde was very down-to-earth in her two-hour debut with host Colleen Lopez.

“These are my modern great basics,” Sims said of her collection, which includes lots of cuffs and necklaces in a variety of metal colors — silver, yellow gold, rose gold and hematite.

The ex-model got her love of baubles from her mom. Sims’ mother has collected jewelry for over 30 years, going to estate sales to buy.

“My mother always taught me beauty is not about price,” Sims told viewers. “It’s about do you like the piece.”

But we think the best testimonial Sims gave for her jewelry was her comment that she had worn a layered, braided necklace from her HSN line recently on a date, and the date went well. Sounds promising to us.

Sims’ said her mother Dorothy was watching the show, and that it was her mom’s words that prompted her to give her line the “Grayce” moniker. Mom always told Sims to live life “graceful and grateful,” the actress said.

The price points on the Grayce pieces were $30 to $100.

QVC In-House Clothing Designer Susan Graver Set To Launch Jewelry Line

November 13, 2009

QVC’s in-house fashion designer Susan Graver is doing a jewelry line for the network that is set to debut next month.

According to poster to QVC’s online forums, Graver will debut her jewelry Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve.

Graver’s apparel is a mixed bag. We find some items great and fresh, like this velvet skirt, and others look frumpy and out-of-date. We don’t like a lot of the synthetics she uses.

Graver herself is a bouncy, sweet, upbeat personality, someone you’d like as your BFF.

QVC’s Web site says that Graver “finds herself drawn to vibrant patterns and colors. Specialty fabrics, tasteful embellishments, and flattering silhouettes also come into play. Perhaps the best part of Susan’s signature collection is how it makes you feel polished and put together. Easy care, easy wear — that’s Susan Graver Style.”

ShopNBC To Report Third-Quarter Earnings Next Wednesday

November 13, 2009

ShopNBC will discuss its third-quarter results next Wednesday, the company said Thursday.

ShopNBC president and CEO Keith Stewart and senior vice president and chief financial officer Frank Elsenbast will conduct a conference call Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. ET.

The No. 3 home shopping network will release its third-quarter earnings the morning of the conference call.

QVC and HSN reported their third-quarter results this week.

Celebrity Chefs Are Hot For HSN, But There’s No News About Todd English And His Bride-Jilting Caper

November 12, 2009

HSN was crowing Thursday about the success of the high-profile chefs that hawk products on the network. We guess it’s no surprise that officials didn’t mention the tabloid headlines that Todd English made recently for allegedly jilting his bride-to-be.

During a third-quarter conference call Thursday, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman said that the network “marries the best chefs of HSN with our successful commerce platform,” citing English, Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse.

The home shopping network expanded its chef roster last with week with the premieres of cook/TV host/cookbook authors Padma Lakshmi and Ingrid Hoffmann as part of the channel’s second annual “HSN Cooks” event. Lakshmi is a host of Bravo’s hit “Top Chef,” while Hoffman does shows for Food Network and Univision.

“The combination of diversity of product, personality and programming resulted in a sales increase of 40 percent over last year’s event,” Grossman said.

HSN was able to strike a deal with Lakshmi and leverage “the tremendous popularity of the ‘Top Chef’ reality series” after talking to her in April about doing a line of cutlery, teas and spices. That Easy Exotic line launched and sold out during the cooks’ event, according to Grossman.

Not mentioned again in the call was English, who was recently in the news in his home base of Boston and in New York City when he left his fiancee, Erica Wang, at the altar the day they were supposed to get married in Manhattan.

Wang painted English as a rat in an exclusive interview with The New York Post. Days later, English filed domestic abuse charges against Wang in Boston, alleging that she hit him in the head with his own watch.