Posts Tagged ‘Qurate Retail Inc.’

Combined QVC-HSN Sales Slip 1%, to $1.87 Billion, in Second Quarter

August 9, 2019

This is an interesting turn of events: Qurate Retail is no longer breaking out separate financial figures, such as sales, for QVC and HSN. And the nets have a new honcho.

Qurate, parent of the two top home shopping networks, reported its second-quarter earnings Thursday. And it only broke out info for QxH, its goofy name for the umbrella company that runs and oversees the two channels. So we don’t know, at least from the 2Q press release, how QVC did versus HSN, just the combined data for QxH.

So QxH saw its revenue dip 1%, from $1.9 billion to $1.874 billion, in the second quarter compared with the year-ago quarter.

QxH reported sales declines in apparel and jewelry, which were partially offset by gains primarily in accessories and electronics, according to Qurate’s press release.

Operating income margin contracted and adjusted OIBDA margin was flat, reflecting gross margin pressure mainly from higher fulfillment (freight and warehouse) expense, which was partially offset by higher product margins, if you can make any sense of that.

QxH also incurred higher bad debt and marketing expense, according to its parent. These factors were offset by lower TV distribution commissions and customer service expense.

Lower TV distribution commissions were due in part to the accounting treatment for certain renewed HSN carriage agreements, as well as renegotiated rates at HSN and growth in off-air sales. Operating income included higher amortization expense related to HSN carriage agreements.

Beginning in the third quarter last year, HSN began renewing TV carriage agreements with several distributors — meaning cable and satellite companies — which provided multiyear upfront payments that are amortized over the life of the agreements, versus its previous convention of expensing quarterly payments as incurred. This accounting change has a positive impact on QxH’s adjusted OIBDA with a corresponding increase in QxH’s amortization expense, which is neutral to operating income each period and cash neutral over the life of the agreements.

That’s too much accounting mumbo-jumbo for us, but maybe you can make sense of it.

And here’s the exciting statement from Qurate President and CEO Mike George.

“We made good strategic and operational progress, evidenced by the sequential improvement in revenue and adjusted OIBDA margin at QxH and the double-digit, year-over-year adjusted OIBDA growth at QVC International in constant currency,” George said.

“These gains were partially offset by deterioration at Zulily. We are encouraged by the resiliency of our businesses and our ability to generate high levels of adjusted OIBDA and free cash flow in a dynamic and highly competitive environment. We resumed share buybacks, repurchasing nearly 12 million shares at an average price per share of $12.88 following our last earnings call. Going forward, we remain focused on building on the collective strengths of QVC and HSN, realizing synergies and stabilizing Zulily.”

Qurate also said that it had appointed Leslie Ferraro, a former Walt Disney Co. executive, as president, QxH, effective Sept. 16.

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QVC, HSN Parent To Report 2Q Earnings Aug. 7

July 14, 2019

The owner of QVC and HSN, Qurate Retail Inc., will post its second-quarter earnings Aug. 7, the company said last week.

Qurate President and CEO Mike George and Executive Chairman Greg Maffei will host a conference call to discuss results Aug. 8 at 8:30 a.m.

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

The second-quarter press release and conference call may discuss Qurate Retail’s financial performance and outlook, as well as other forward looking matters.

Interested in listening in?

Call ReadyTalk at (800) 347-6311 or (323) 794-2094, passcode 3591272, at least 10 minutes prior to the call. Callers will need to be on a touch-tone telephone to ask questions. The conference administrator will provide instructions on how to use the polling feature.

In addition, the second quarter-earnings conference call will be broadcast live via the internet. All interested participants should visit the Qurate Retail website at http://www.qurateretail.com/events to register for the webcast.

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

Combined QVC-HSN 1Q Sales Drop 4%, to $1.9 Billion

May 9, 2019

QVC’s and HSN’s combined revenue slid 4% in the first quarter versus last year, to $1.9 billion, in a performance that even Mike George couldn’t put a good spin on.

The two domestic home shopping networks, merged in a unit named QxH by their parent Qurate Retail Inc., for the first time reported their sales as one entity.

“Our first quarter performance was disappointing amidst a changing retail and media landscape,” George, president and CEO of Qurate Retail, said in a canned statement.

“Our recent results have been more variable as we navigate the evolution of our business model and the integration of HSN, fine-tune our investments, and strike the right balance between sensible revenue growth, margin expansion, new customer acquisition and our strategic initiatives,” he said.

“We are taking a disciplined approach, investing in initiatives to drive high-quality customer growth and engagement, broaden and deliver our assortments, particularly across new digital platforms, and optimize our fulfillment network. Our customer fundamentals remain strong, including customer count, retention and purchase frequency. We are confident we are taking the right actions to deliver attractive operating margins and free cash flow for the long-term.”

So what happened?

QxH experienced sales declines in home, jewelry and beauty, which were partially offset by gains in electronics with modest growth in fashion (apparel and accessories), according to the first-quarter press release.

QxH enjoyed strong sales growth in off-air products; however, these gains were not sufficient to offset lower sales of on-air items.

“Operating income and adjusted OIBDA margin) contraction was primarily due to higher inventory management costs, fulfillment and marketing expenses, which were partially offset by lower TV distribution commissions and higher product margins,” the press release said. “Lower TV distribution commissions at QxH are in part due to the accounting treatment for certain renewed HSN carriage agreements (described below). Operating income also included higher amortization expense related to the amortization of HSN carriage agreements.”

Starting in the third quarter last year, HSN began renewing TV carriage agreements with several distribution partners, which provided multiyear upfront payments that are amortized over the life of the agreements, versus its previous convention of expensing quarterly payments as incurred, according to the press release.

This accounting change has a positive impact on QxH’s adjusted OIBDA with a corresponding increase in QxH’s amortization expense, which is neutral to operating income each period and cash neutral over the life of the agreements.
Roger that, if you have an accounting degree.

If you want to hear the juicy details, Qurate Retai President and CEO Mike George and Executive Chairman Greg Maffei, will discuss the earnings on a conference call which will begin at 8:30 a.m. (E.D.T.) on this Friday, May 10. The call can be accessed by dialing (800) 458-4121 or (323) 794-2093, passcode 3078914, at least 10 minutes prior to the start time. The call will also be broadcast live across the Internet and archived on our website.

To access the webcast go to http://ir.qurateretail.com/events-and-presentations. Links to this press release and replays of the call will also be available on Qurate Retail’s website.

QVC Shutters French Home Shopping Network

March 24, 2019

We’re late on this little tidbit, which broke earlier this month, but Qurate Retail Group has pulled the plug on QVC France, one of the company’s international home shopping networks.

Qurate, the parent of domestic QVC and HSN, ceaseed operations of its TV network and digital platforms in France effective March 13.

From the announcement, it looks like 154 people lost their jobs. “Appropriate steps are being taken to provide assistance and resources for the team members’ transition,” according to Qurate’s press release.

“The decision to halt our QVC France operation was carefully considered, as QVC France had under-performed against financial and operational expectations, in large part due to unique in-market structural challenges and market dynamics that evolved in the years following the launch of the operation,” Aidan O’Meara, president of Qurate Retail Group International, said in a statement.

“We determined that these challenges were impacting our ability to develop our business in the manner we expected,” he said. “We want to thank our QVC France team members for their dedication, commitment, and professionalism throughout this period.”

By shuttering the network in France, “QVC will be able to better allocate its annual investment in France into other markets to drive sustainable organic growth,” the press release said. “Further, many corporate functions within QVC are shared across the European markets, and the company believes that this action will allow the teams to better focus on other existing markets.”

In the fourth quarter last year, Qurate recognized charges of about $13 million, of which $9 million was for severance and was excluded from Adjusted OIBDA, and $4 million was for inventory obsolescence and affected Adjusted OIBDA. The company expects to incur additional costs in 2019.

QVC customers in France will still be able to shop with QVC through its QVC UK and QVC Germany commerce platforms, according to Qurate.

Outside of the United States and France, QVC serves about 4.6 million customers in Germany and Austria, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and Ireland. QVC also serves customers through a joint venture in China.

QVC Posts 3 Percent 2018 Sales Growth, HSN Down 6 Percent

February 28, 2019

QVC was up last year, and HSN was down.

That was the news Wednesday when the parent of the two home shopping networks, once rivals but now under the same ownership, reported fourth-quarter earnings.

Domestic QVC’s revenue rose 3 percent in both Q4, to $2.087 billion, and all of 2018, to $6.349 billion, according to Qurate Retail.

In comparison, No. 2 home shopping channel HSN’s revenue dropped 1 percent in Q4, to $707 million, and declined 6 percent last year, to $2.202 billion.

“In 2018, we made meaningful progress shaping the future of Qurate Retail, highlighted by the strongest new customer growth at QVC US in its 33-year history and continued gains in digital and mobile engagement,” Mike George, Qurate’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

“Results for the year were led by top-line growth at QVC US and International, excellent performance from zulily, and significantly improved second-half results at HSN as we execute on its turnaround,” George said. “Margin improvement is a top priority in 2019, as we step up the realization of integration synergies and seek to execute on initiatives to improve product margin and optimize our marketing investments.”

In the fourth quarter, QVC saw sales gains primarily in electronics, apparel and accessories, which were partially offset by declines mainly in home.

For the full year, QVC posted revenue increases mainly in accessories and apparel, which were partially offset by declines principally in jewelry.

In Q4, HSN suffered sales declines in electronics and jewelry, which were partially offset by gains primarily in accessories, beauty and apparel.

For the full year, HSN realized declines in all categories. Not good.

Here’s another inside tidbit: HSN is operating under several renewed carriage agreements with certain distribution partners beginning in the third quarter of 2018 which provide for capitalized upfront payments that are amortized over the life of the agreements, versus HSN’s previous convention of expensing the payment associated with the contract terms each quarter.

Beloved Jewelry Designer Nicky Butler Gone From HSN

February 5, 2019

Sorry to say, but we saw this coming. Another one of our favorites on HSN is abruptly leaving the home shopping channel after 20 years: British jewelry designer Nicky Butler.

Butler, a slender white-haired gent with a very spiritual side, posted the sad news on Facebook this weekend.

“After 20 years…I will no longer appear on HSN programming,” he wrote cryptically.

He asked HSN customers to pick up his final pieces for the network on HSN.com, and to continue following him on Facebook.

Butler, who once had a fancy shop in London and counted Princess Diana as a customer, got many of his design inspirations from his beloved India, where he sourced many of his gemstones.

His specialty was crosses — our favorite design — and we must have at least eight of his pieces or so.

But we haven’t seen him on HSN recently, and was wondering about his fate there. On FB posters asked if he was retiring, etc., looking for an explanation for his HSN departure and bemoaning it.

You don’t have to be a genius to figure it out girlfriends. Under the ownership of QVC’s parent, Qurate Retail Group, HSN is being turned into a homogenized, bland home shopping venue. So out with Butler and many other fan favorites.

Butler isn’t the only longtime jewelry vendor who has left. Victoria Wieck is on now on Evine.

From his responses on FB, it appears that Butler plans to continue designing and selling his wonderful jewelry. Let’s hope so.

Joy Mangano Exits HSN in Wake of Its Purchase by QVC

December 21, 2018

For anyone who has been following what is going on after HSN was purchased by QVC’s parent, this should not be much of a surprise: HSN mother of invention Joy Mangano is leaving the network. We think she’s steamed.

So the inventor of the Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers, whose life story was depicted in a movie, is hitting the road.

The press release doesn’t have any comment from Mangano, which we read as a tip-off that she is not happy about all of this.

Here it is:

HSN Announces Joy Mangano Departing to Pursue Other Professional Opportunities

December 20, 2018: Retailer will continue to offer inventive products, such as Huggable Hangers and My Little Steamer.

St. Petersburg, FL (Dec. 20, 2018) – HSN announced today that after nearly two decades with the company, inventor, designer, entrepreneur and HSN team member, Joy Mangano, will be leaving HSN to pursue other professional opportunities.

“We and our customers are enormously grateful for all that Joy has done for our shopping community,” said Mike Fitzharris, President, HSN. “She has been an important part of the family for many years, and her creativity has influenced us all. We thank her for her contributions.”

Over the years, Mangano has delighted HSN customers with a steady stream of innovative products, such as her record-setting Huggable Hangers (more than 800 million units sold via HSN platforms), her My Little Steamer, SHADES Readers, Forever Fragrant line of cleaners and fresheners, Ultimate Closet line of organizers, and her collaborations with IMAN and Ming Tsai. Mangano launched her first invention, the Miracle Mop, on QVC in 1992 and continued with QVC until HSN acquired Mangano’s company, Ingenious Designs, Inc., in 1999.

“Joy may be leaving, but our customers will be able to continue to shop Huggable Hangers, My Little Steamer and many of the great products she has presented on HSN over the years,” said Fitzharris. “And at the same time, customers will continue to see other fresh, innovative brands come to HSN as we add to our product assortments and create engaging new customer experiences.”

Fitzharris added that HSN has launched more than 100 brands over the past year, including new brands, propriety brands, crossover brands from QVC, and brands that HSN had worked with in the past. “We are incredibly encouraged by our customer response to our new offerings and look forward to bringing more for her to shop and enjoy in 2019,” he said.

In October, Qurate Retail Group, announced a series of initiatives designed to restore HSN to growth by focusing the business on offering more diverse products, enhancing the on-air presentations, driving digital growth, and improving the customer experience. These initiatives included the consolidation of the HSN and QVC US buying teams into one organization, with the goal of increased speed to market with the best brands, products, ideas and entrepreneurs; optimized product assortments to maximize customer choice; a more aggressive pursuit of “white space” opportunities; and better alignment with product suppliers.

The writing was on the wall when Qurate, owner of QVC and HSN, in its October announcement said it was merging buying functions for the two home shopping networks. In that press release was also word that Qurate was shutting down Mangano’s company, Ingenious Designs on Long Island, and shifting its work to West Chester, where QVC is based. We mentioned all that in our blog. And in our lede we wondered how Mangano would be affected.

https://homeshoppingista.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/integrated-qvc-hsn-dubbed-qxh-means-2000-layoffs/

Newsday later reported that Ingenious Designs had issued so called “WARN” notices that it was going to lay off 66 workers starting in late December and ending Feb. 28.

https://www.newsday.com/business/miracle-mop-joy-mangano-layoffs-1.22406818

Author of HSN’s ‘Used-Car Salesman’ Email Sues Over Firing

December 10, 2018

The HSN talent agent who wrote the infamous email — which WE first reported on — that chided the home network’s vendors and hosts for sounding like “used-car salesmen” is suing over his subsequent firing.

https://homeshoppingista.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/hsn-bans-used-car-salesmen-yellers-and-hijackers-from-network/

Gordie Daniels has filed a lawsuit in Florida against HSN and its new owner, Qurate Retail, the company that is also the parent of QVC, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Basically, Daniels claims that he was canned despite the fact that he was trying to create the on-air culture that Qurate wanted, similar to QVC.

https://www.tampabay.com/business/lawsuit-spells-out-tumultuous-time-during-hsn-and-qvc-merger-20181204/

The problem was that the email was about as tactful as your drunk uncle at that last wedding you went to. In a nutshell, Daniels told HSN folk to lay off the hard sells. He issued a list of Dos-and-Don’ts, which went over like a fart in church. Vendors were infuriated by the memo.

Daniels, who was fired because of his missive, in his lawsuit claims he was just the messenger that was killed for delivering the unpopular message from new management to HSN.

“QVC was very upset with how on-air talent was performing,” the suit said, according to the Tampa Bay paper. “Guests were stepping outside the roles QVC wanted them to play, and hosts were often unable to control their shows effectively. Guests were talking over hosts. Talent discussed topics such as pricing … and shipping which QVC did not want discussed. Some guests were also making overaggressive sales presentations.”

“(HSN) falsely branded (Daniels) as an insubordinate, unprofessional, rogue employee who launched an ‘insulting,’ ‘condescending,’ and ‘disrespectful’ email to on-air talent,” the lawsuit said, the Tampa paper reported. “(HSN) lied about what actually happened surrounding the email so it and QVC could save face and use (Daniels) as the scapegoat for a few people’s anger over QVC’s new direction.”

BTW, the Tampa Bay paper credits “Page Six,” the gossip column of the New York Post, with first obtaining and publishing the email.

Wrong. We broke the story.

QVC, HSN Tout Digital Initiatives — and Baby, Outdoor and Tabletop

November 20, 2018

Well Qurate Retail Inc., parent of QVC and HSN, apparently had a lollapalooza of an Investor’s Day last week in the Big Apple.

The webcast of the dog-and-pony show for Wall Street runs more than six hours. You can hop on Qurate’s website if you want to listen.

http://ir.qurateretail.com/events.cfm.

We’re dedicated, but not that dedicated. But Qurate put out a press release Monday summarizing some of the takeaways that honcho Mike George shared.

http://ir.qurateretail.com/news-releases/news-release-details/qurate-retail-announces-new-digital-investments-and-cost

It’s digital, digital and more digital, according to George. The home shopping channels are venturing onto new turf — baby, outdoor and tabletop. And George has five biggies on his “To-Do” list.

• Be the destination for product discovery.
• Inspire shopping journeys spanning all media platforms customers use.
• Make digital marketing a powerhouse demand driver.
• Extend the conversation through the power of social media.
• Enhance the service experience.

“The soul of the shopper, over time and across generations, hasn’t really changed,” George said in the press release. “Shopping is still about discovering great products, at great values, with great stories. It’s joyful, inspiring and built on trust. It lifts people up, helps them solve old problems in new ways, makes their lives easier, and connects them to the wider world. This is what we do, and this is why we have so many opportunities to evolve and grow in today’s rapidly changing retail and media landscape.”

We’re going to post the press release directly, from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, on the  priorities:

Be the destination for product discovery

“Our business model starts with being great product curators,” George said. “We’re committed to bringing our customers more discoveries, increasing product differentiation, driving strong values, and engaging customers of all generations.”

Qurate Retail is investing in an expanded digital store, adding 180 new digital-only brands across HSN and QVC over the past few months and entering new categories, such as baby, outdoor and tabletop. Year-to-date, the company has hired over 25 people to help drive this effort. In addition, more brands with strong cross-generational appeal are launching first on digital.

Qurate Retail also is launching Qurate D3 (for Discovery, Design, and Development), an expanded function to find or develop exclusive product lines around the world.
Inspire shopping journeys spanning all media platforms customers use.

“The explosion of digital media creates enormous opportunities for us to access, engage, and inspire consumers of all generations, over her video platforms of choice, with the right content, at the right time,” George said. “We have a strong advantage over other retailers or content programmers: We own all of our content, our incremental cost to create content is low, and we already have significant experience distributing content across emerging and other digital platforms.”

Qurate Retail continues to expand viewership across media platforms. In the U.S., TV viewership for QVC and QVC2 rose 5% year-to-date. HSN and QVC continue to increase their presence on traditional TV platforms. In addition, the brands are assessing how to optimize the positioning, programming, and scheduling of the five U.S. networks (QVC, QVC2, HSN, HSN2 and Beauty iQ) to appeal to the broadest range of consumers and provide maximum choice.

Viewership on new media platforms is also growing. From Q3 2017 to Q3 2018, minutes viewed via QVC US OTT platforms (Amazon, Apple, Roku), Facebook Live5 pages and digital platforms rose by more than 75%, while minutes viewed via the QVC US YouTube page doubled.

Early next year, Qurate Retail will build on its mobile leadership by launching a new Watch App, designed to be the daily discovery destination for today’s mobile consumer, with easy access to live shows, product videos and episodic content. By liking videos, users will be able to create their own playlists, and a click on a video will bring up product details and the ability to purchase.

In addition:

• The next generation of HSN’s proprietary Shop by Remote app is rolling out, and QVC began deploying the app earlier this month as well.
• QVC is expanding its OTT apps, including the October 2018 launch on Amazon Fire and the June 2018 launch of a new OTT service in Germany.

Make digital marketing a powerhouse demand driver

“We are rapidly scaling our digital marketing to generate demand, showcasing our best items, complementing the power of our TV distribution, and driving new generations of customers to our new media platforms,” George said.

Qurate Retail is building an in-house marketing agency to support QVC and HSN, drawing top talent from digital marketing leaders. The team is leveraging machine learning tools from zulily to create and deploy advertising intraday to maximum effect.

Digitally-driven sales are growing, driven in part by digital marketing. Year-to-date, sales for items that are promoted only via QVC’s digital platforms rose 11%, and sales for items that had not been featured on-air in the prior 24 hours rose 7%.

Extend the conversation through the power of social media

“Social platforms enable us to reach and engage new consumers, while also deepening the engagement of our best customers by fostering powerful viral communities,” George said.

Qurate Retail has built a network of influencers who can amplify HSN or QVC products and platforms with their followers. In addition, Qurate Retail has launched three social marketplaces – Ellie Sugar and Fuss Beauty in the U.S. and TILI (Try It Love It) in the U.K. – designed to reach beauty shoppers who may not be aware of the curated products and engaging experiences offered by HSN and QVC. The company also has launched its first skill on the Alexa platform, enabling users to watch or listen to HSN live and obtain information about HSN’s broadcast and products. By early 2019, users will be able to order products and check shipping updates and other account details, all via voice.

Enhance the service experience

<em>”We recently announced a multiyear plan to reduce delivery times by two days and increase package consolidation by integrating our HSN and QVC US fulfillment networks,” George said. “This is just one example of how we are investing to ensure that our service promise stays among the best.”

The plan to integrate the fulfillment networks was announced in October. The first phase includes opening a new fulfillment center in Bethlehem, PA in 2019, as well as anticipated closures of fulfillment centers in Lancaster, PA, Roanoke, VA, and Greeneville, TN in 2020.

Additionally, Qurate Retail will evolve toward a leased vs. owned model for many of its fulfillment facilities to increase flexibility and reduce longer term capital requirements.
Qurate Retail’s multiplatform approach is helping the company expand its customer base.

Over the past 12 months3, new customer counts for QVC US rose 4%, with 83% of new customers coming through digital platforms. QVC US also saw a meaningful shift among new customers to customers who are 18-44 years old. Overall, the QVC US customer base is up 2% year-to-date, with strong and stable customer retention.

Third Quarter: QVC Sales Up a Smidgen, HSN Down

November 12, 2018

Last week Qurate Retail, the parent of QVC and HSN, reported its third-quarter results. They are a bit complicated, because of an accounting change in the way Qurate accounts for revenue.

Here’s as best as we understand it: Qurate has adopting a new accounting standard, so QVC and HSN are now recognizing credit-card income for their branded credit cards as part of their net revenue “rather than as an offset to selling, general and administrative expense.”

That change will positively impact Qurate Retail’s revenue for 2018.

Here’s the deal: QVC’s revenue in the third quarter as up 3 percent — to $1.42 billion — when you include the $26 million in credit-card revenue. But it only rose 1 percent without it.

In HSN’s case, its revenue was down 4 percent — to $514 million — including its $3 million from credit-card revenue. But revenue dropped a whopping 5 percent without that added addition of funds.

Before we provide the official third-quarter details, we can also report back on what Qurate head honcho Mike George had to say on the third-quarter conference call with Wall Street analysts.

For those who were shocked to see QVC standards like Dooney & Bourke and Judith Ripka on HSN, expect more of such QVC-HSN crossovers, George said.

But so-called proprietary brands, like QVC’s Isaac Mizrahi, will not be making their way to HSN, according to George.

He also said that 100 new products are heading to HSN, and that the home shopping network will be getting its own new proprietary lines developed by the merged QVC-HSN department that will work on such projects for both channels. Previously at HSN, Joy Mangano’s company was devising a lot of that home shopping network’s own brands, like Iman.

And as reporters, we sympathized with the Wall Street analysts who asked a lot of questions but didn’t get many answers from George. For example, HSN apparently just did a new carriage deal with a distributor. Under questioning, George wouldn’t identify who that cable or satellite provider was.

Yet even as he ducked answering their queries, these analysts kind of groveled and thanked him for his non-answers.

As for the results that Qurate would talk about, in the third quarter QVC saw sales gains in accessories, beauty and electronics, which were partially offset by declines in home and jewelry.

“As noted last year, QVC US experienced a systems outage late in the second quarter of 2017, which resulted in an estimated 1 percent shift in net revenue to the third quarter of 2017,” Qurate said in its press release. “This outage negatively impacted revenue by approximately 1 percent in the third quarter of 2018 due to the comparability of results.”

Over at HSN, which will see its ranks decimated by layoffs that QVC announced last month, in the third quarter its “sales mix shifted to home, accessories and beauty from apparel, jewelry and electronics and resulted in an improved return rate,” according to Qurate.

HSN also paid $12 million in severance costs in the quarter.

“In the third quarter of 2017, HSN’s results were impacted by Hurricane Irma,” Qurate said. “At that time, HSN estimated that revenue was negatively impacted by approximately $13 million and adjusted OIBDA was negatively impacted by approximately $5 million.”

And here’s the big deal that George was so secretive about.

“Beginning in the third quarter of 2018, HSN is operating under a renewed carriage agreement with a certain distribution partner,” Qurate said. “This agreement provided for improved channel placement and broadcast in high-definition. Based on the terms of the renewed multi-year carriage agreement, HSN capitalized the upfront payment and is amortizing the amount over the life of the agreement, versus its previous convention of expensing the payment associated with the contract terms each quarter.”

“Our solid third quarter results demonstrate continued execution of our strategy to engage our customers with compelling products across multiple shopping platforms,” George said in a canned statement.

“We grew revenue and profitability at QVC US, improved HSN’s sales trend and customer engagement trends … We’re taking steps to more fully leverage the power of our US video commerce platform and accelerate our digital initiatives by combining QVC US and HSN into a new business unit, QXH, a move that we believe will yield new revenue opportunities and improved customer service, as well as operating efficiencies and incremental cost synergies. Qurate Retail is focused on leveraging its unique video commerce model in a retail market that increasingly values engaging mobile and social shopping experiences.”