Posts Tagged ‘layoffs’

ShopHQ Sees 4Q Sales Dive 22%, Lays Off 152 Employees

April 17, 2020

If you are a home shopping network, you don’t want to be ShopHQ. The company reported dismal fiscal-fourth quarter earnings this week, and dropped the ax on another raft of employees.

Revenue in the fourth quarter nosedived 22%, to $124 million, compared to the same year-ago period. What happened?

In a press release, ShopHQ said “half of this decline was expected and attributable to the company’s recent customer file decline.” We have no idea what that means.

There were also three one-time events that drove the dip, the network said.

They were:

* Scheduling conflicts in December with top two beauty brands,

* Reduction in consumer electronic products due to the largest CE vendors requiring “cash in advance” payment terms, and

* Reduction in watch revenue resulting from management’s strategy to reverse its five-plus year customer file decline by reducing the average selling price to capture more new customers.

The network also had an $18.4 million net loss in 4Q, versus a $10 million loss in that same quarter in the year-ago period.

In addition, one of our readers tipped us off that the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that ShopHQ had laid off 152 employees. That story made reference to our blog, as a source for the exit of host Laura Duffek.

On the plus side, ShopHQ said it had completed its acquisition of J.W. Hulme, “an iconic, 114-year-old American brand offering artisan-crafted accessories and apparel via e-commerce, catalogs and one flagship retail store in St. Paul, Minnesota.”

Iconic? We’ve never heard of it.

ShopHQ got a $4 million private cash infusion led by Eyal Lalo, Invicta’s CEO and vice chairman of the network’s parent company, iMedia. The watch company Invict has a huge stake in ShopHQ, which is why every time you turn on the channel you see its timepieces being hawked.

What did CEO Tim Peterman have to say?

First and foremost, in terms of the COVID-19 situation and these uncertain and stressful times, iMedia continues to be focused on taking every necessary step to keep its employees, vendors, customers, guests, and their families safe.

We are also focused on continuing to provide our customers with the products and services they love, and we feel very fortunate our company remains operational and relevant so we can continue to build value for our shareholders.

In terms of Q4 performance, from a ShopHQ revenue perspective, it was a mixed report card. We achieved significant viewership, customer file, and product assortment successes, but we also absorbed revenue pressure from three unplanned events. With that being said, I’m proud of how our teams reacted to reduce the probability of re-occurrence.

Financially, our turnaround continues In our first nine months since May 2019 when I rejoined as CEO, we materially reduced the company’s adjusted EBTIDA loss compared to the prior nine months.

Strategically, Q4 is when we really began to demonstrate our plan to grow our portfolio of engaging niche television networks, niche national advertisers and complementary media services. We launched Bulldog and our membership service, ShopHQ VIP. We acquired two important new businesses that will further accelerate our evolution into a profitable, growing interactive media company.

If you say so, Tim.

Connie Craig-Carroll, Two Other Hosts Exit HSN

June 15, 2019

Today was apparently bloody Friday for HSN hosts, with three of them apparently getting pink slips under the network’s new ownership.

Connie Craig-Carroll, who has been a host for nearly 22 years, Robin Wall and Brett Chukerman are all exiting. They each posted the news individually on their Facebook pages.

It’s a pretty big shakeup, but perhaps not unexpected now that HSN is under the ownership of Qurate Retail, parent of QVC. We sympathize, especially with Craig-Carroll. When a company is looking to slash costs, it usually gives veteran employees who are on the top of the pay scale the can. It happened to us twice.

Craig-Carroll left a long goodbye. She pointed out that she had gotten married, had a baby and became a single mom during her tenure at the network, where she has worked since she was 27.

She said she is moving on to her next adventure and will be leaving HSN next month. Craig-Carroll asked people to post their favorite moments or products, and a bevy of HSN vendors lamented her exit.

Chukerman, who has been on HSN for eight years, said he will be departing the network next month as well.

Wall said she had met her husband at HSN nearly 25 years ago, but she has only been a host at the network for 10 years. Her last show is Saturday, June 15, from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.

“God has always guided my path so I look forward to where it leads next,” she wrote.

Amen to that.

Evine Sales Dive 16% in 1Q, Cans 11 Top Execs As Part of Blood Bath, Back To ShopHQ

May 30, 2019

We bet Evine is glad its first quarter is over. But the execs who got pink slips we’re sure are not happy. Oh, and the name is also going back to ShopHQ. And there’s going to be Shop Bulldog channel for men, and a new Spanish-language one, too.

It’s a lot to digest.

First of all, the No. 3 home shopping network saw its sales nosedive 16% in the first quarter, to $131.5 million versus the prior year. It also suffered a net loss of $21 million, compared to net loss of $3 million in the prior year.

New CEO Tim Peterman, who rejoined the company earlier this month, wasted no time wielding the ax. In one of the worst corporate-speak euphemisms we’ve ever heard, he called the network’s mass layoffs “a cost optimization event” that will eliminate $15 million in annual overhead costs.

“This event included a 20% reduction in non-variable workforce and the permanent elimination of the following 11 senior executive roles: EVP, Product Sourcing & Business Development; EVP, Managing Director of Brand Development; EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer; SVP, Chief Merchandising Officer; SVP, Chief Accounting Officer; VP, Site Merchandising & Customer Analytics; VP, Customer Operations; VP, GMM Home; VP, Planning; VP, Marketing; and VP, GMM Beauty,” Peterman said in a statement.

As for the name change, here we go again.

“In the second quarter, we are planning to change the name of the Evine network back to ShopHQ, which was the name of the network in 2014,” Peterman said. “ShopHQ is easier to recognize for existing television retailing customers, who spend over $9 billion annually with television retailers in U.S. We believe this more intuitive and recognizable name will allow us to better promote to our network and build our customer file again. Our conclusion from the review of the customer impact data related to the change to Evine in 2015, was that it was not positive.”

Peterman made no excuses for the network’s performance, since he wasn’t responsible for it.

“I am excited to rejoin Evine as its new CEO,” Peteman said. “Although we have only been working as a team again for less than a month, we have already identified the primary causes for Evine’s dramatic financial declines these last few quarters and begun to implement focused remediation actions.”

“In terms of our first quarter, 2019 performance, there is no other way to say it – our performance was poor.”

No sh-t.

“In fact, our performance over the past three quarters has significantly missed expectations, and we must perform better for our shareholders and employees,” Peterman said. “Our plan to reverse our recent negative financial trend is clear, exciting and already in motion.”

This has included hiring Jean Sabatier for the new post of executive vice president, chief commerce officer.

“This is an important change expected to re-establish operating fundamentals in pricing, merchandising, programming and planning,” Peterman said. “Jean rejoins the company after having served as SVP, Sales & Product Planning and Programming from 2008 to March 2017. Most recently, Jean has served as a planning and programming consultant in both Germany and Italy to HSE24, an omnichannel retailer.Prior to joining Evine in 2008, Jean spent 11 years at QVC.”

Peterman added, “We are optimizing the current merchandising mix to drive better customer engagement and immediately improve our merchandising margin and shipping margin. We expect this changed mix will lower our variable costs as a percentage of revenue. This is a cornerstone remediation effort that we anticipate will create an increase of 5% to 7% in the airtime mix of our strongest categories of jewelry, beauty, wellness and watches, and a corresponding decrease of 5% to 7% in the airtime mix of our lowest performing categories of home and fashion.”

Peterman also cited the $11 million in additional working capital it’s freceived via Invicta Watch Group investment transaction.

“We secured the services of Eyal Lalo, as our new vice chairman, and we expect he will help us reignite our vendor community with passion while also helping us find and launch new vendors to strengthen our product assortment in all of our merchandising categories,” Peterman said. “This is also a cornerstone of our remediation effort. In the last three years, Evine has not launched a single brand that has exceeded $10 million in annual revenues. Eyal is already making a difference for us in this area.”

Here’s the new interactive media game plan:

Using our “service fee” business model:

Expanding Evine’s existing 3PL service offering. In 2017, Evine launched its 3PL services business unit and signed its first customer, G-III Apparel Group, in 2018 with brands such as Karl Lagerfeld Paris, DKNY and G.H. Bass.

This year we expect to add customers and expand our service offering to provide a “one-stop commerce services offering” targeting brands interested in propelling their growth using our unique combination of assets in television, web and 3PL services. We will also seek to add services in the AdTech space monetized with advertising and fees.

Using our “advertising & eCommerce” business model:

Shop Bulldog: In Q4 of 2019, we expect to rebrand our existing Evine Too channel into a new omnichannel, television shopping brand called Shop Bulldog (“SB”) that will sell and advertise men’s merchandise and services, and the aspirational lifestyles associated with its brands and personalities.

Although SB will be produced in Minnesota at the corporate headquarters like our ShopHQ channel, SB will not be associated with ShopHQ from a branding and creative perspective. Our unfair advantage in executing this strategy is our existing strength in watches and male customers in television retailing.

LaVenta: In Q1 of 2020, we expect to launch a new omnichannel, Spanish language, television shopping brand centered on the Latin culture to sell and advertise merchandise, services and personalities, celebrating aspirational lifestyles.
LaVenta will be produced in Miami by a standalone Latin management team. We also have a compelling unfair advantage to build this new offering – the top three shopping categories in the Latin culture are beauty, watches and jewelry – our core strengths.

Evine Opens LA Studio, Welcomes Celine Dion and a ‘Shah’

October 20, 2018

Just a day after Qurate Retail, parent of QVC and HSN, announced it would be sending pink slips to 2,000 employees, and whittling down the staff in St. Petersburg to nothing, Evine was having a big shindig on the Left Coast.

We were invited, but couldn’t make the trip, to attend the West Hollywood launch party kicking off the opening of Evine Los Angeles, the network’s new studio facility. We also missed the “Live from LA” broadcast Thursday.

Did anyone see it? What did you think?

Apparently in conjunction with that event, Evine has unveiled two new celebrity lines — handbags from singer Celine Dion and “Be Obsessed” hair care products from Reza Farahan, who is part of the crew on Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset.”

When we saw pictures that party-goers posted on Facebook, we didn’t recognize Reza. He looked familiar, but he lost his mustache and a lot of weight since we last watched that reality show.

We like a lot of what Evine is doing, and opening a studio — far away from the HQ in Minnesota — is brilliant. But from what we have seen, home shoppers are not enamored of celebrity product lines.

There are so many stars of Bravo reality shows that have done lines for HSN, QVC and Evine that the list would take up a page.

For example, one of Reza’s co-stars on “Shahs” had a fashion jewelry line on HSN, while Lisa Vanderpump of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” has her own fashion jewelry line on Evine. She was at the swanky launch party, as were vendors such as Chuck Clemency.

Evine’s marketing maven, Nicole Ostoya, on FB said that she will be stationed in LA now, not in the cold wilds of Minneapolis, and she appeared to be quite pleased about that.

And while we are on the topic of Evine, we saw that another former HSN jewelry vendor had turned up at the No. 3 home shopping network. Hilary Joy is now part of the lineup.

Integrated QVC-HSN, Dubbed QXH, Means 2,000 Layoffs

October 18, 2018

When QVC’s parent company acquired HSN last year, everyone knew it would mean massive changes and eventually, massive layoffs. Well, that other shoe dropped Wednesday. We’re still not sure where “Miracle Mop” creator Joy Mangano ends up in all of this.

Here is the lengthy press release:

So no, the QVC and HSN TV networks will not be merged into one. But they will be placed under one business unit, called QXH. Catchy, huh?

The new unit was part of Qurate Retail Group’s announcement about a massive restructuring that calls for integrating not only QVC and HSN’s fulfillment centers but also its buying organizations.

The end result? Some 2,000 people will be out of jobs, about 350 coming mainly from HSN’s HQ in St. Petersburg, Fla., which will remain open, and the rest from three fulfillment centers that Qurate will be closing.

The company also plans to lease space in a new warehouse facility, a honking 1- million-square-foot logistics center in Bethlehem, Penn. There will be 1,200 to 1,500 new jobs there, if you are looking for a silver lining.

Here’s the send-off that Mike George, Qurate president and CEO, gave to workers losing their jobs, including some folks who apparently had worked at the home shopping networks for 25 years.

“Today’s initiatives are the next step in our ongoing review of how to best continue the integration of HSN and QVC,” George said in a statement.

“With a focus on driving digital transformation, these efforts will extend our leadership in social, digital, and video commerce. I want to thank the many dedicated team members who will be impacted by these changes. Their commitment to HSN, QVC, and our customers, in some cases spanning 25 years or more, has been instrumental to our success. Our excitement today over the positive impact of these changes is tempered by the loss of many valued team members.”

The consolidation will result in streamlining that “will ensure an aligned approach to the U.S. market and better leverage the combined scale and resources of the two organizations, while still maintaining the unique identity of each brand and the St. Petersburg, Fla., campus for HSN,” Qurate said in its press release.

“The QXH name reflects the continued importance of the QVC and HSN brands, the multiplying power of bringing these brands together to maximize performance in the US market, and the engaging customer experiences we will offer across our five HSN, QVC, and Beauty iQ networks and digital properties,” George said.

OK, know we get it: QVC times HSN = QXH.

There will no be only one buying team for HSN and QVC, which to us seems it will make it hard to keep distinct identities for each network.

“HSN and QVC US buying organizations are being combined and structured around seven strategic category groups: Apparel, Accessories and Jewelry, Beauty, Kitchen Electronics and Cookware, Home Innovations, Home Style, and Consumer Electronics,” Qurate’s press release said. “Category leaders will be responsible for developing and driving strategies to maximize growth in the US market, across both the QVC and HSN platforms.”

The release goes on, “This integrated buying organization is expected to provide several benefits, including: increased speed to market with the best brands, products, ideas and entrepreneurs; optimized product assortments across QXH’s five US networks and multiple web and social platforms to maximize customer choice; a more aggressive pursuit of white space opportunities; and better alignment with our vendor partners.”

As for merging fulfillment operations, Qurate said it will be far more efficient and mean we customers will get our packages sooner. Right now Qurate operates four HSN and five QVC fulfillment centers, with many of them dedicated to specific categories, such as hard goods or apparel.

Over the next three to four years Qurate plans to combine HSN and QVC fulfillment centers so that they carry “the full product assortments” of both brands, in order to combine shipments to the customer and lower operating expenses.

“Once completed, the integrated fulfillment network is expected to: increase average delivery speeds to customers by two days; enable more items to be consolidated into single shipments to improve customer convenience; and deliver significant savings in freight and fixed costs,” Qurate said.

The press release also has possible ominous news about Ingenious Designs, inventor Joy Mangano’s company, which is part of HSN and home to the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers.

“HSN is closing its Ingenious Designs facility in Long Island, NY, shifting the design and sourcing of those product lines to QRG’s (Qurate’s) in-house design and sourcing team,” the parent company said.

Does that mean that Mangano is losing her own design team, and control of her company? Will she be staying on-board?

There are a couple of winners in this QVC-HSN scenario.

Mary Campbell, chief merchandising officer for Qurate and chief commerce officer for QVC U.S., will be responsible for QXH merchandising, marketing, brand and digital strategy and the QVC U.S. digital, content and broadcast operations. She will have primary responsibility for the development and growth of the QVC brand.

HSN President Mike Fitzharris who will be responsible for QXH video platform expansion and distribution and the HSN digital, content and broadcast operations. He will have primary responsibility for the development and growth of the HSN brand and oversight of the St. Petersburg campus.

They will both report to George.

QVC U.S. President Steve Hofmann is being kicked to the curb. His position is being eliminated, and his last day is Friday.

To sum up, some of us were surprised to see veteran QVC jewelry vendor Judith Ripka appear on HSN a few days ago. Expect to see a lot more of that QVC-HSN crossovers.

As someone who has been laid off twice, with the first time more devastating than we could ever explain to you, we certainly feel for those who are getting pink slips. But we lost our jobs during the Great Recession, the worse economic period since the Great Depression.

The U.S. economy is booming now, with unemployment at record lows, so we know you HSN and QVC folks will find new jobs a lot faster than we did. We wish you the best.

QVC Layoffs Send Shock Waves

September 9, 2016

We’re going to attempt a little blogging, especially after hearing about the layoffs of about 100 folks at QVC’s HQ in West Chester this week.

We first learned the 411 after ex-QVC host Lisa Mason posted the news on Facebook, lamenting the firing of a loyal network employee who had worked there 25 years, a person who was among the others who were pink-slipped.

Basically, Mason said she was holding her tongue about what she thought of the layoffs, which was similar to what ex-host Dave King posted on Facebook about the mini-bloodbath.

This situation must be put in context: QVC CEO Mike George during a 2Q earnings called warned that the network’s sales had tailed off significantly at the end of the quarter. Belt-tightening is no surprise.

Also, earlier this year QVC warned that layoffs would be coming to Pennsy, because the company was opening up a big international distribution hub in Poland.

And finally, QVC is opening a huge Left Coast distribution facility in Cali, and is hiring a boatload of people to work there.

A number of QVC shoppers are none-too-pleased to hear that American workers are losing their jobs in West Chester, and say they will boycott the No. 1 home shopping network.

Our first thought on the layoffs was whether any show hosts were being canned, but that was not apparently the case.

Host Mary Beth Roe had a Facebook post that appeared to allude to the sad circumstances at QVC, but she didn’t specifically reference the layoffs.

As someone who was summarily laid off just a few weeks after Sully miraculously landed a jet on the Hudson, the estimated 100 that were let go at QVC have our sympathy and good thoughts.

Evine Live Makes $5 Million In Layoffs, Cutbacks

March 24, 2016

It’s late and we’re tired, but we’re reading a transcript of Evine Live’s fourth-quarter earnings call with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday. See what we do for you guys! Anyway, we’ve already seen a bit of a bombshell.

In the transcript, provided by Seeking Alpha, CFO Tim Peterman said, “Last week, we enacted a reduction in workforce and other related costs that will result in approximately 5 million in annualized expense savings. We will continue to look for more ways to make our business more efficient.”

Interim CEO Bob Rosenblatt, who took over for ousted chief Mark Bozek, said that 45 full-time employees were laid off. We wonder if Connie Kunkle’s “early retirement” was related.

“It is mostly a matter of being able to be more efficient and more effective in terms of streamlining the organization and most of the positions were in corporate, that we took the positions out of,” Rosenblatt said according to Seeking Alpha’s transcript.

“And they ranged in high-level positions all the way down since it was 45 positions all the way down to staff positions but it was done in surgical manner and of course some other people that remain having the additional responsibilities.”

Rosenblatt also indicated that he had no plans of transforming Evine Live from a watch network, saying that the category distinguishes the channel.

He said that sales in beauty were especially strong, with brands such as Consult Beaute doing particularly well.

“On the jewelry side, we made a deliberate decision to reduce airtime which boosted productivity for the category,” Rosenblatt said. “Sales were down versus the fourth quarter of prior years, but I’m happy to report that the jewelry area continues to be one of our customers’ favorite categories.”

That’s right, Bob!

“Within the categories we experienced particularly strong sales in the following area,” he said. “Gems en Vogue, we had sales of over 11 percent; luxury diamond designer brands in general were over 104 percent. Our gemstone designer brands were up to 2 percent and our sterling silver sales were up 20 percent.”

Evine Live sold a lot of Hoverboards during the holidays, and then stories broke about the boards erupting in fire and users suffering a lot of injuries. Rosenblatt addressed that issue.

“We’re mindful of the continued situation regarding the Hoverboard products and we’ll continue to monitor the situation as our customer safety is always a prime concern of ours,” he said. “However, as you know Hoverboard’s only represent one of more than tens of thousands of products that we offer at Evine Live and as retailer these occasional issues are not unexpected.”

QVC To Lay Off 220, Import Jobs To Krakow

February 20, 2016

QVC isn’t making any friends with its news that it is laying off 220 employees, including 100 at its West Chester HQ, as it sends some jobs overseas to Krakow, Poland, of all places.

Philadelphia Magazine is one of the news outlets that reported the sad news out of the No. 1 home shopping network. QVC is moving parts of its HR, IT finance and legal departments to Poland, the story says.

In addition to the pink slips in the U.S., 40 people are losing their jobs in Great Britain, 10 in Italy and 70 in Germany, according to the report. A QVC honcho broke the news to HQ workers, including some who have been with the channel since its beginning in the late 1980s, on Wednesday.

But the ax won’t be falling until 10 months. QVC gave the magazine a statement.

“The global business services model is part of QVC’s long-term strategy to continue modernizing how we operate as a global entity,” the home shopping network said. “It will provide more efficient and streamlined business services in order for QVC to stay competitive and continue expanding globally.”

“Many of the world’s largest companies have a global business services organization in Poland,” according to QVC. “Leveraging the country’s high-quality business environment, workforce with multi-lingual capabilities, and lower cost which enable seamless support for the U.S. and Europe.”

Last year QVC canned about 150 warehouse workers when it closes a facility in Florence, S.C.

The comments on the article skewered the home shopping network:

Translation. QVC’s board of directors want to earn more and the only way to accomplish this without reducing shareholder value is to terminate members of their US workforce. This is not America. This needs to be illegal and if not illegal, it should be extremely tax adverse to any company that does this. It’s a disgrace.

Come on guys-they only made $8.8 Billion last year. Gotta cut costs or the whole ship will sink! Good to see that people are outraged here. Truth is QVC is a totally greedy and unethical company that hates its long term employees. I worked there for 23 years and was an exemplary worker.
Then out of the blue, here comes a completely false negative performance review from the new boss and I got the choice between taking a job that paid half as much or get let go. My heart goes out to everyone who’s losing their jobs in their late 40s or 50s–good luck getting an interview let alone a job offer. Thanks for ending my career QVC-BOYCOTT THEM!!

I work for this company. They don’t give a damned about us, more for less is the attitude. Worthless employees get all the praise while the ones that do work repeatedly get coached or wrote up.Screw the “Q”, looking forward to retirement.

QVC is a dirty company. Of course they lay off these employees when they are paying their hosts high six and low seven figure paychecks to low lifes like Shawn Kilinger. Hell, Lisa Robertson was trying to get even more money than the million a year she was making.
QVC finally told her to pound sand. And now she is a 50 yr old saleswoman without a job. Like she is going to get anything better than she had at QVC. Of course these costs are passed on to the customer. I use Amazon a lot more than QVC anymore.

The network is already hiring for its opens its new 1 million-square-foot West Coast distribution hub in Cali. Some 500 people will work there. But that’s apparently cold comfort to a lot of folk.

HSN Downsizes For The Holidays

December 5, 2015

Merry Christmas! You’re laid off!

HSN has wielded the ax at its HQ in St. Petersburg, according to the Tampa Bay paper.

Many companies let employees go right at the end of the year or at the start of the new year, to make their balance sheets look better. And HSN had a crappy third quarter, which doesn’t help matters.

None of this, of course, helps if you are among the folks who get pink slips.

HSN would only say it cut less than 1 percent of its workforce.

QVC To Lay Off 147 Warehouse Workers In Pennsylvania

September 13, 2015

QVC is laying off 147 warehouse workers in Chester County, Pa., according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The No. 1 home shopping network is moving fulfillment services from West Goshen, an operation it will be closing, to a bigger warehouse in Florence, S.C., the newspaper reported.