Posts Tagged ‘QVC dropping Louis Dell’Olio’

Hot Flash: Designer Louis Dell’Olio Meets Thursday With QVC Officials About The Future Of His Clothing Line

April 20, 2010

It looks like the QVC customer campaign to keep designer Louis Dell’Olio on the home shopping network may be working.

On Monday Dell’Olio wrote on his blog that he has a meeting set for Thursday with the honchos at QVC.

Here is his post:

My Dear Friends,

As of this posting, my “discussion” with QVC regarding Linea’s future will take place this Thursday afternoon. I want you all to know that I am taking all of your thoughts, suggestions and ideas with me. I have continually read all of your postings and can’t thank you enough for your untiring support and guidance. You have aided me in focusing on what is most important for Linea. You are one strong, intelligent group of women. It is an honor to know you. Obviously, you a force to be reckoned with……….always, with Love……..Louis

As we’ve said before, campaigns by fans — and threatened boycotts — to keep a cancelled TV show on the air, for example, only rarely work.

But it looks like all the irate phone calls that Dell’Olio’s “Linea Ladies” made last week and Monday to QVC president Mike George and the honchos at QVC’s parent Liberty Media, John Malone and Greg Maffei, may be working. These ladies were threatening to boycott QVC and take their disposable income elsewhere.

Last week Dell’Olio, who just celebrated his 10th anniversary on QVC, wrote in his blog that the home shopping channel had informed him it wasn’t placing any new orders or reorders for his Linea line come the fall.

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The Dumping of Louis Dell’Olio And Charla Rines Sparks Customer Outrage At QVC And ShopNBC: How Shifts In Strategy Can Alienate Shoppers

April 18, 2010

Charla Rines

We’ve chronicled two instances now where customers of QVC and ShopNBC have become livid, and threatened to boycott those networks, because the two channels were getting rid of two popular personalities.

In the most recent brouhaha, more “mature” QVC shoppers were ready to tar and feather QVC president Mike George and John Malone and Gref Maffei, who run QVC’s parent Liberty Media, when they got word that the home shopping channel was dropping designer Louis Dell’Olio’s line.

Linea Ladies (named after his QVC Linea collection) this week mounted a focused campaign to keep Dell’Olio on the air, setting up a Twitter account, bombarding the offices of George and Malone with phone calls, and writing to these executives.

Who knows what will happen ultimately. Campaigns like this, no matter how passionate the protesters, seldom work.

But the “Ladies” seem to have made some progress last week on behalf of Dell’Olio. The award-winning designer wrote on his blog Friday that QVC officials now want to meet with him to discuss the future of his line for them. Prior to that, Dell’Olio said that QVC had informed him that it would stop placing orders for his line in the fall.

Customer relations are not much better at ShopNBC, where angry viewers are still shocked that the No. 3 shopping network canned spike-haired Rines, a loud-mouthed but popular host, back in January. Our blogs about Rines have received the most traffic of any items on this site, and more than 80 people have posted comments damning ShopNBC for letting Rines go.

These ShopNBC customers are also posting that the network had gone down the toilet in terms of the quality of its merchandise, especially the high-end jewelry that Rines used to do presentations on.

What’s going on here? You are seeing customer reaction to major changes in strategy at both QVC and ShopNBC.

Mindy Grossman

HSN is making similar changes, but even when veteran vendor Suzanne Somers left last fall after more than a decade at the network, there was no viewer ire. We guess that’s because she had her new home-shopping gig set up — moving over to ShopNBC.

With the recession, it’s a tough environment out there for home shopping networks. Gems TV went black last Thursday, and has filed for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection. QVC, HSN and ShopNBC obviously don’t want to suffer a similar fate.

All three home shopping networks have shifted their strategies. For one, they have changed their product mixes to include less jewelry (which apparently no one but us is buying nowadays) and much more beauty and consumer electronics producs.

QVC and HSN are going in similar directions in many respects: In particular, they are replacing their older clothing lines with hipper fashions by younger designers. So for example, you have HSN CEO Mindy Grossman bringing in higher-end design talent like Badgley Mischka, Naeem Khan and Stephani Greenfield to the network.

In the case of QVC and Dell’Olio, he makes gorgeous classic tailored clothes, the kind of garments that women my age love. But QVC is trying to attract new, younger viewers, and has brought in more fashion-forward designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Chloe Dao with their edgier fashions.

Linea Ladies pointed out to QVC that they have lots more disposal income than the kids, and that younger shoppers are fickle and unloyal. Good points.

If you read QVC’s online forums, you will soon learn that the Linea Ladies don’t like the new designers like Mizrahi, and that they feel they are being swept aside in the home shopping channel’s push to draw new shoppers. And these women are probably right.

Keith Stewart

That age issue is also at the center of customer anger over ShopNBC letting Rines go: She was not a 20-something, she was maybe a 50-something. The new generic, picture perfect hosts that ShopNBC has hired just don’t cut the mustard, according to Rines’s fans.

With her bright red lipstick and short platinum blonde hair, Rines didn’t look or act like any other host on a home shopping channel. She was outspoken, blunt, sarcastic and had a real edge to her. She drove us nuts sometimes, but at least she didn’t have the nauseatingly sweet, unskeptical persona of many home-shopping network hosts.

ShopNBC’s situation, except for it getting rid of an older talent, is opposite of QVC’s and HSN’s. Chief Keith Stewart is trying to make the No. 3 home shopping channel less upscale, lowering the average price of its merchandise. You won’t see many $20,000 rings being sold on ShopNBC now, the way you used to.

And he is widening ShopNBC’s product mix to be more like QVC and HSN, in that the No. 3 home shopping network is now selling gourmet food and even 3D HDTV sets (before its two rivals did).

All three home shopping channels will soon be reporting their first-quarter earnings. They have been seeing rising sales, so maybe their new strategies are working.

But their core customers are not happy. And those are the shoppers that they depend on to come back again and again.

QVC Designer Izaac Mizrahi’s Appearance on ‘Jeopardy’: We Can’t Shake This Guy

April 17, 2010

No matter what we do or where we go, we can’t seem to get away from home shopping.

Last night at the gym (another exciting Friday night), as we were wiping sweat from our brow while on the elliptical, we glanced at the TV screen of the guy next to us. He was watching “Jeopardy,” and we thought we were seeing things. Was that guy in the middle of the panel QVC designer Isaac Mizrahi?

We tuned to “Jeopardy” on our own TV screen, and yes, it was the curly-haired wonder himself. It was a “Celebrity Jeopardy” show, and Mizrahi was competing against Jane Curtin, a veteran of the old “Saturday Night Live,” and CC Pounder, the talented actress who had a big role in FX’s “The Shield.”

Mizrahi is bright, and he was ahead of his two rivals for part of the competition. But then Curtin pulled way ahead of him. Pounder proved that she should just stick with acting.

Then came the final “Jeopardy” question, where Mizrahi had a chance to pull ahead of Curtin. The question was which British actor was the first to be knighted. Both Mizrahi and Curtin got the right answer, Laurence Olivier, but Curtin was so still far ahead she won. She got $35,000 for her favorite charity.

Pounder bombed out, and wound up with zero dollars.

How QVC finagled to get Mizrahi, a fashion designer, qualified as a celebrity for “Jeopardy,” we don’t know. But score one for the QVC PR department.

By the way, Mizrahi ears should be ringing. He is the target of a lot of anger on QVC’s online forums, now that news leaked that Louis Dell’Olio’s line is being dumped by QVC.

The more mature fans of Dell’Olio’s classy tailored clothes don’t like the fact that QVC had made Mizrahi its new design darling, and a lot of viewers — The Homeshoppingista included — have been less than impressed with Mizrahi’s new collection.

But QVC, after angry letters and phone calls, has asked to talk to Dell’Olio about the future of his line, so there may be hope for him yet at the home shopping network.

For Fans Furious That QVC Is Dropping Designer Louis Dell’Olio: We’ll Give You QVC’s And Liberty Media’s Addresses And Phone Numbers

April 15, 2010

We're sure QVC president Mike George will be happy to take your calls about his network dumping Louis Dell'Olio's line

The brouhaha about QVC dropping award-winning designer Louis Dell’Olio’s clothing line seems to be escalating.

Dell’Olio’s fans at the Q have mounted a campaign to keep his collection on the home shopping channel, and they are urging viewers to phone officials at QVC, namely president Mike George, and at its parent company, John Malone’s Liberty Media.

But the Linea Ladies, as the designer’s QVC fans are calling themselves, claim QVC is not playing fair. On Thursday one poster on QVC’s online forums, Blinddogs, charged that the home shopping network had “poofed” the phone numbers and addresses of QVC and Liberty Media’s bigwhigs.

Here is one of Blinddogs’ posts:

“WELL, isn’t the Q getting cute…Now they don’t poof the entire thread, just  delete the words that make the point: the names, address and phone number for corporate officers of Liberty Media Corp., the parent company of QVC. Is it a state secret and does QVC really stand for CIA?

What do Q execs have to hide that they are so scared that we might contact THEIR bosses at Liberty Media?

Since after 4 tries have been poofed, you can find the names and address yourself with a bit of looking at www.libertymedia.com and click on the corporate officers. Click on investor relations to get a toll free number to call. And under investor relations, click on events and you can find what is also top secret and a link thereto poofed previously: audio of QVC President and CEO Mike George’s statements to shareholders in March.

SHHHS top secret information: Dr. John Malone is the chairman of the board and the founder of Liberty Media. Don’t tell anyone…”

The Linea Ladies have set up a Twitter address for their crusade to keep Dell’OLio, who designs classic tailored clothes, at the No. 1 home shopping channel.

We got a callback Thursday from QVC spokeswoman Erin Mulholland, but she didn’t have too much to say.

She declined to comment on whether QVC is dropping Dell’Olio’s line (the designer himself let the cat of the bag on his blog, where he said he was told QVC told him it would no longer order from him starting in the fall).

She declined to say whether or not QVC was deleting the phone numbers and addresses of QVC and Liberty Media officials on the forums.

She declined to say how many phone calls George had received complaining about Dell’Olio’s ouster.

She did say that Dell’Olio has shows on QVC in May.

Well, we’ll lend a helping hand here, with some names, addresses and numbers.

Liberty Media Corp.
12300 Liberty Blvd.
Englewood, Colo. 80112
(720) 875-5400

Liberty Chairman John Malone
Liberty President Greg Maffei

QVC President Mike George
1200 Wilson Drive
West Chester, Pa. 19380
800-296-2931 or 484-701-8253

Dell’Olio said in a new blog that his QVC shows are scheduled for May 12. He also thanked his fans for their support.

“Jac (his wife) and I want you all to know that we are just overwhelmed by your caring……Overwhelmed,” Dell’Olio blogged. “My anniversary dates are: Wednesday, May 12th, 6-7am, 1-3pm and 7-8pm. We love you all………….Louis.”

At least one of Dell’Olio’s fans tweeted on Twitter that she had gotten through to QVC honcho George’s office.

“Hi ladies, Mike George’s office called me and said they have not made final decision yet. they will call me when they have. keep fingers crsd.”

We hate to say it, but don’t hold your breathe, girlfriend.

One online poster said that customer service reps were telling people that called to complain that Dell’Olio’s line wasn’t “popular.” That really got his Linea Ladies riled up.

QVC, like HSN, is adamant about drawing younger viewers, and they think they can do it with fresh names like Isaac Mizrahi.

But it’s usually not a good idea to alienate your current customers, or don’t that teach that at Harvard and Wharton MBA classes these days?