Posts Tagged ‘QVC’

QVC, HSN See 4% Drop In First-Quarter Revenue

May 7, 2020

Qurate Retail Inc., the parent of QVC and HSN, reported Wednesday that revenue for the two home shopping networks dipped 4% in the first quarter, sliding to $1.79 billion, versus the same year-ago period.

“We remain open for business thanks to the dedication and resilience of our 25,000 team members, and we are seeing encouraging increases in sales and new customers at the start of the second quarter,” Mike George, Qurate president and CEO, said in a canned statement.

“We experienced significant margin impact from COVID-19 in the first quarter and challenges remain, including a demand shift to lower-margin products and reduced productivity in our fulfillment centers,” he said. “We continue to assess what this new normal will be. At the same time, we have moved quickly to lean into favorable early second quarter trends, and we will continue to utilize our agile business model to adjust our consumer offerings.”

QxH, the unit that includes QVC and HSN, reported revenue declines in all categories in the first quarter. In mid-March, when COVID-19 awareness escalated in the U.S., QxH experienced accelerated declines in sales combined with a shift from higher-margin fashion products to lower-margin home products, Qurate said.

In late March, QxH began to see positive sales and new customer growth as it adjusted its merchandising, programming and marketing to meet customers’ changing needs.

Product margins were essentially flat in the quarter, reflecting gains through February, mostly offset by reductions in March due to COVID-19 related product mix shifts, according to Qurate.

Gross margins decreased primarily due to higher fulfillment (warehouse and freight) expenses driven by the network optimization initiatives, general freight rate increases and incremental costs related to COVID-19.

Here’s information that Qurate provided for its investors:

https://ir.qurateretail.com/static-files/ffe056b9-1ef7-4e37-a3e7-44a7a1e770a4

Qurate also detailed its responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were:

• Focused on the safety and financial well-being of team members. Qurate Retail shifted all team members who could work from home to do so temporarily; team members unable to work remote could choose to stay home with partial pay options; increased safety and sanitation protocols at fulfillment centers and live studios; established an Emergency Assistance Fund for one-time grants to team members most impacted by the pandemic; and offered alternative work arrangements where possible when team members must manage unexpected pressures.

• Closed retail stores to the public in March while broadcast studios and fulfillment centers remain open.

• Rapidly adjusted product offerings, merchandising, marketing, and on-air and online programming. Meaningfully improved sales and new customer growth trends across business segments beginning late March in response to changes.

• Incurred additional costs impacting margins, including appreciation and emergency pay for onsite team members (recently extended through May 31); relaxation of productivity requirements in fulfillment centers primarily driven by enforcing social distancing; enhanced sanitation protocols; and increased reserves for potentially higher bad debt rates and customer returns.

• Reduced planned spending, including an anticipated $30 million to $50 million reduction in capital spend in 2020; reduced discretionary expenses and hiring where possible.

• Supported several COVID-19 relief programs, including donating airtime for public service announcements; creating a Small Business Spotlight program across TV, streaming and digital commerce channels to benefit vendors and small retailers; supporting global PPE-making efforts of a community of more than one million artisans; donating to relief programs globally, including Meals on Wheels and No Kid Hungry in the US, the Red Cross in Germany, and the National Emergency Trust in the UK; and creating customer- and team-member matching opportunities.

QVC As An ‘Essential’ Business During the Coronavirus Quarantine

March 30, 2020

We’ve been writing a lot about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses for our day job, and what companies in New York and New Jersey are considered “essential” and can remain open.

So it was interesting to read this New York Times story, headlined “QVC: Quarantine, Value, Convenience,” about how the home shopping network is up and running and broadcasting as an essential business.

Of course, all the U.S. home shopping continue to televise. But we have to wonder a bit who they are essential to?

We’re addicted, and we know others are, but essential?

“It was not possible, on Monday, to send a child to school in Pennsylvania or for the Department of Transportation to perform any but the most urgent bridge repairs,” The Times reported, “But bookkeepers, slaughterhouses, steel mills and QVC stayed open.”

We thought the story was pretty insightful about some of the allure of home shopping.

“In some respects, no network is better suited to see viewers through the unraveling global catastrophe,” The Times said of QVC. “Even under normal conditions, the shopping channel’s hypnotic, sales pitch-style programming soothes like a balm.”

According to The Times, “The company’s founder Joseph Segel, once summarized its appeal with the observation, ‘There’s no bad news on QVC.’”

The story poked fun at QVC and the challenge of hawking goods while a disease is ravaging the world and people are penned inside their homes.

“Parents wishing to sharpen children’s extemporaneous speaking skills during their prolonged absence from class would do well to present them with the challenge faced by host Kerstin Lindquist at the one o’clock hour on Monday: endeavoring, for 60 minutes, to sell sunglasses to a population heavily discouraged — in some localities, legally prohibited — from amusing itself outdoors,” The Times wrote.

FYI, so you can get your QVC packages, the channel’s fulfillment centers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, and North and South Carolina have not reduced staffing, according to The Times.

It reported that QVC said it has made health and safety modifications at all sites and that those who can do their jobs remotely are doing so.

Home Shopping Networks End, Limit On-Air Guests During Coronavirus Outbreak

March 23, 2020

It’s no longer business as usual in America, or on U.S. home shopping networks.

We knew major changes were afoot a few days ago when veteran ShopHQ jewelry vendor Chuck Clemency made his appearance remotely, from his home in our home state, New Jersey.

Then we got this email from ShopHQ:

To Our Valued Customers,

As this global health concern continues to unfold, the ShopHQ family wants you to know that our number one priority is to continue to take every necessary step we can to ensure the health and safety of our customers, employees and guests.

We are diligently following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so that our ShopHQ family can continue to support you with the highest quality service without disruption. Our customer solution agents, many of whom work from home, remain available to take your calls 24/7. We continue to be on-air and online 24/7 with engaging entertainment and shopping. And, you can always find us available on our social channels.

I want to personally thank you for being a part of our community. And as with all personal and professional challenges in life, big and small, we will work smart, we will work tirelessly, and we will get through this. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Tim Peterman
CEO

Then QVC product rep Linda Davis posted on Facebook that as of today, Monday, on-air guest hosts would no longer be allowed on the No. 1 home shopping channel.

“My heart is heavy but I support their decision for safety,” Davis wrote. “There are many of us and hard to control the amount of people coming in. Safety for all first.”

Davis, who has been on QVC 18 years, said she appeared on the network most recently last Wednesday.

“I am sitting this quarantine out alone,” she wrote.

Meanwhile on JTV, hosts are sitting 6 feet away from each other, practicing social distancing.

It will be interesting to see if the home shopping networks see a burst in sales with malls and brick-and-mortar retailer closed, or if consumers will take advantage of e-commerce and just shop online.

Lisa Mason Heads Back to QVC

February 27, 2020

Former QVC host Lisa Mason has flitted back and forth several home shopping networks since leaving the Q a few years back.

She did a jewelry line for JTV. She repped a product, a tooth whitener, as we recall, for QVC.

Now she’s apparently heading back to QVC.

Mason posted on Facebook that as Dorothy said in “The Wizard of Oz,” there’s no place like home. She said she will be on QVC next Tuesday for “Big Bonanza,” which we assume is the channel’s big silver sale.

In her post Mason mentioned that her wedding ring will be back at the same price it was during her last QVC show, which was in 2010. We remember that item, a floral style ring.

When Mason left QVC her beloved husband Gino had cancer, and he has since passed away. It will be good to see her.

QVC, HSN Suffer 3% Revenue Dive In 4Q

February 26, 2020

Fourth-quarter blues for QVC and HSN.

Combined, the two leading home shopping networks, saw their revenue drop 3% for the quarter as well as for the full year 2019, their parent Qurate Retail reported Tuesday.

In the fourth quarter last year, sales slid to $2.692 billion from $2.789 billion the same year-ago period.

In addition, the unit that includes both channels, called QxH, saw revenue declines in all categories. For the full year QxH realized declines in all categories except electronics.

“Our fourth quarter results were in line with full-year trends, notably we experienced pressure on revenue and margins from the investment in network optimization at QxH,” Mike George, president and CEO of Qurate Retail, said in a statement.

“Despite these challenges, we were encouraged with our ability to grow free cash flow in 2019 on an operating basis,” he said. “We are accelerating the execution of our strategic priorities as we work to return to profitable growth. We continue to lead the curation of special products at compelling values across multiple platforms, providing customers an important third way to shop.”

Operating income declined in the fourth quarter and full year primarily due to an increase in impairment charges at HSN, partially offset by the absence of transaction-related expenses incurred in 2018.

Operating income included non-cash impairment charges related to the fair value of HSN’s trade name of $147 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 and $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

For the quarter and full year, adjusted OIBDA margin(3) contracted primarily due to cost of sales pressure, which included higher fulfillment (freight and warehouse) expenses related to the network optimization plan and general freight rate increases as well as inventory management including costs associated with the exit from Ingenious Designs.

That company, FYI, is Joy Mangano’s former business.

For the full year, these headwinds were partially offset by a favorable product mix impact, according to Qurate. Adjusted OIBDA margin benefited in the fourth quarter and full year from TV distribution commissions, which were partially offset by higher marketing expenses.

The fourth quarter also benefited from lower incentive compensation. Lower TV distribution commissions were in part associated with the accounting treatment for certain renewed HSN carriage agreements, as well as favorable renegotiated rates at HSN.

Beginning in the third quarter of 2018, HSN began renewing TV carriage agreements with its distribution partners, which provided multi-year upfront payments that are amortized over the life of the agreements, versus its previous convention of expensing quarterly payments as incurred.

Jewelry Designer Valencia Key Debuts On QVC Monday

February 20, 2020

QVC is debuting a new jewelry designer next Monday, Valencia Key.

We picked up that tidbit on LinkedIn strangely enough. She is a gorgeous African American woman, and we only point that out because it’s always nice to see a vendor who is a woman of color on the home shopping channels.

It appears Key was the winner of The Big Find competition, which you folks probably know more about than we do.

Anyway, from the glimpse we got of her collection it looks pretty interesting.

QVC Jersey Girl Host Katie McGee Takes A Permanent Powder

February 5, 2020

Another QVC host has hit the road. This time it is Katie McGee.

Now we’d be lying if we said we knew who she was. She’s was obviously one of the new younger, crop pf hosts that we had never viewed.

Last week McGee announced her departure from the No. 1 home shopping network on Facebook.

“To my QVC friends — I am sharing the news that I am leaving QVC,” she posted. “I have so enjoyed my time with all of you and invite you to continue to follow me on my personal pages. Thank you for all sharing this journey with me.”

Her bio on QVC’s website described her as “an animal lover and an avid reader,” adding that she came to the home shopping network after 15 years in the news business. Poor woman!!!!

“Growing up in the Garden State, she’s a proud Jersey Girl who loves to cook, read,and watch football,” the site said. “Katie and her husband Jason are proud parents of their beloved golden retriever, Norman!”

We may not know her, but we’re sad to see a fellow Jersey Girl and animal lover having to exit a job when it doesn’t appear to be her choice.

QVC, HSN To Report Fourth-Quarter Results Feb. 25

January 28, 2020

Qurate Retail Inc., the parent company of QVC and HSN, will report its fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 25.

Qurate President and CEO Mike George and Executive Chairman Greg Maffei will host a conference call Feb. 26 to discuss results 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 fourth-quarter earnings conference call will be broadcast live on the internet. All interested participants should visit the Qurate Retail website at http://www.qurateretail.com/events to register for the web cast.

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 SEC.

Ex-QVC Host Kathy Levine Resurfaces to Rep Nutrisytem on HSN

January 28, 2020

We saw that former QVC queen bee host Kathy Levine just turned up on HSN as a rep for Nutrisystem.

https://www.hsn.com/products/nutrisystem-fast-5-balanced-personalized-four-week-plan/9400430#

Since her exit from QVC many years ago, and her marriage to a wealthy older man, Levine has made appearances on a number of other home shopping channels, including ShopHQ.

She also just appeared in a video session on Facebook with husband-and-wife home shopping team Judy Crowell and Paul Deasy.

As with many home shopping personalities, Levine’s face looked tucked and taunt. Maybe she was just really rested, but we think she succumbed to the TV medium’s pressure to look young with the help of a surgeon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We understand the pressure.

We hadn’t seen QVC host Jane Treacy in awhile, and she looked like she has had some work done on her eyes.

Big Whoop: QVC Is Now All Easy Pays, All The Time

January 2, 2020

QVC had hyped a big announcement it said it had planned for New Year’s Eve.

We didn’t see the announcement, but apparently the big scoop was that the No. 1 home shopping network from now on is offering easy pays on all its merchandise all the time.

We use Easy Pay all the time, but it is a bit of a trap. You forget all those Easy-Pay items you ordered, and sometimes wind up getting a very rude awakening when your credit card bills come in.

Anyway, it reeks a bit of desperation on QVC’s part.