Posts Tagged ‘QVC’

We Are Not ‘Mentally Imbalanced,’ ‘Inebriated,’ Or ‘Desperate,’ But You Are Stupid, Forum Ladies

May 26, 2018

It’s time for a postmortem on the blog we wrote on the “Dos”-and-“Don’ts” e-mail sent out to all of HSN’s vendors by a not-so-tactful talent manager, Gordie.

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

First, thank you Page Six, the gossip column of the New York Post, for writing about the home-shopping brouhaha and eventually crediting us online for having the scoop. Several other outlets picked up the story, including AOL and The Blast.

https://pagesix.com/2018/05/22/hsn-stars-livid-over-execs-condescending-and-disrespectful-email/?utm_source=facebook_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

It was interesting to read reader reaction to the e-mail, on our blog, QVC forums and Facebook.

Some people said they totally agreed with some of Gordie’s criticisms and suggestions, like not shouting over the show host or no hard sells. But they thought, like many of the vendors who ended up being offended, that the issue should have been addressed privately to just those who the comments applied to.

Others said that HSN, (now owned by QVC, with this memo obviously trying to get the No. 2 in line with then No. 1’s standards), to crack the whip on its vendors was the pot calling the kettle black.

For example, these folks said that QVC vendors like Susan Graver should be read the riot act for shouting over hosts, etc.

We admit that many reporters are thin-skinned, but we don’t mind criticism that is simply a matter of having a different opinion on a topic than we do.

But some of the morons on the QVC community forum got our dander up, we guess because we haven’t seen such stupidity in a long while. One of the disgraced talent managers relatives must have been making some of the asinine remarks questioning the veracity of the memo and/or our blog,

Wrote one stupido about The Homeshoppingista blog, “To me this appears to be a publication by someone mentally imbalanced, inebriated and/or desperate.”

On some days, yes, but not at the time we wrote that juicy item! (That’s a joke, folks.)

If these chuckle heads had actually read the blog to the end, they would have seen that there was indeed an objectionable e-mail sent out, because HSN’s president put out his OWN email to vendors apologizing for Gordie’s e-mail.

That should have nailed the question of whether Gordie’s email was real or not. DUH!

And many thanks to the one wise woman who defended us on the forum. You go girlfriend.

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HSN Bans ‘Used-Car Salesmen,’ ‘Yellers’ and ‘Hijackers’ From Network

May 20, 2018

Here is how NOT to make friends and influence vendors at a home shopping network: accuse them of acting like “used-car salesmen” and to knock off the “hard selling” and “in-your-face delivery.”

HSN vendors were roundly offended last week when they got a nasty mass e-mail from the channel’s talent manager that laid down the law, and the “Dos” and “Don’ts,” of their appearances on-air.

The “Don’ts” include not to “hijack” shows, talk over the hosts, talk about price or yell.

We guess these guidelines came down from on-high, namely from HSN’s new owner, QVC.

We’re posting the entire document. It’s an eye-popper, it’s long but please read it. It has vendors fuming. So much so that HSN’s new top honcho exec sent out an apology.

But some insiders say the first missive doesn’t bode well for the future of HSN, with some predicting that QVC will eventually fold it.

Here’s the e-mail:

Hello Everyone

For those who don’t know me, my name is Gordie Daniels and I am the talent manager for HSN. I wanted to take some time and go over some housekeeping issues and also give you an overview of our new direction. Over the next several weeks, you’ll be receiving an email from James Bridgers in regards to setting up a tape review with me. Please respond to his email because we are doing an on air talent reset with all HSN guest.

Effective immediately, no hard selling, period. I want everyone to take the used car salesman, in your face delivery and throw it out if this pertains to you. Moving forward, your presentation style needs to be conversational, authentic, real and engaging.

The host will be asking questions so please make sure that you know your product. This is a 3-way conversation between you, the host and her at home. I want you to have a conversation, so you need to balance this 3-way dance. Don’t ignore the host and don’t ignore her at home because she is still important.

Below, I have included some do’s and don’ts, so please take the time and read them, process this information. If you have any questions, my contact details are below.

Thanks
Gordie

HSN Do’s and Don’t’s

• Do – Let the host lead the presentation. This is their house and you are the guest so follow their lead.

• Do – Have a conversation. The host will ask you questions, so you need to listen, respond and engage. Again, this is a 3-way dance so you need to find that balance. Don’t ignore your host because that’s rude and sets a bad tone but don’t ignore her at home because she’s buying. It’s all about a more natural and engaging presentation.

• Do – Be authentic, warm, inviting and relatable. Connect with her through storytelling.

• Do – Paint the picture so that she can see how this product fits into her life. Give her examples, things she can compare it to. Utilize sense memory to work for you. That’s memory supported by your 5 senses. With sense memory, make her smell, taste, touch, hear and see all the ways that this product is for her.

• Do – Get rid of the hard sell. Your job is to explain the features and benefits of the product. You need to be a good storyteller, and make that connection with her at home. Create interesting demos that showcases the product and all of the wonderful things that it can do. Keep it simple. Why do I need this? Why is this better than what I have?

• Do – Act and carry yourself in a professional manner on and off air.

• Do – Research your product. Look at the reviews and see what types of questions or issue that are being brought up. What would you want to know if you were buying this product?

• Do – Listen and respond. You have to listen in order to respond and you can’t respond if you’re not listening. You have to pay attention to the host because they are going to lead the presentation and ask questions. I’ve looked at a lot of shows and the common theme is that, you don’t listen. You’re so concerned with getting your points out, that you‘re not listening which hurts the presentation. If the host ask you a question, answer the question. I see a lot of people ignore the host questions because you have your own agenda. Follow the direction of the host.

• Do – Slow down. When you are speeding through the presentation, a lot of the information gets lost because you’re trying to squeeze 30 minutes’ worth of information into a 10-minute presentation. Edit your demos, features and benefits to fit the time that you have.

• Do – Have fun and smile. Give her a reason to watch.

————————————————————————————

• Don’t – Talk over the host. I want to make sure that we are all clear on this one. Do not, talk over the host. When you and the host are talking at the same time, it doesn’t sound good and information gets lost. Follow the host lead.

• Don’t – Try and hijack the show. You are the guest and that is your role. Please be respectful and follow the host lead.

• Don’t – Talk price, flex pay or shipping. This is the job of the host so stay in your lane. If you are receiving a directive to do any of the above from an another source, please let me know so I can address. If you decide to do any of the above, then you and I will be having a conversation. Non Negotiable

• Don’t – Call for shots, B-Roll or models. Again, this is the role of the host so let them do their job and lead the presentation.

• Don’t – Talk about specs or details about the product that hasn’t been approved. I’m hearing a lot about unapproved specs and other product information. Please stick to what is approved.

• Don’t – Make false claims. Again, this is a new direction and we need to build credibility. When you make false claims, it hurts the company, the brand and you as the talent.

• Don’t yell. Talk to her not at her. This is a huge problem because it takes focus off of the product and shifts the focus to you.

One beauty-goods vendor was so steamed here is how she responded:

Gordie,

We have not met but I must tell in the 25 years in business I never received nor even seen a note as condescending and disrespectful as this. We take our partnership with HSN very seriously and are always open to critique and input. Everyone on this distribution list works tirelessly to get right that said partnership works both ways and this note to all of us does not represent the professionalism I would expect from my partner. We can discuss further whether this style is the right fit for XXXX.

HSN President Mike Fitzharris tried to smooth things over with an e-mail apology to vendors last Friday.

Yesterday, you received an email that should never have been sent. I am reaching out to let you know that we’ve taken action. It is not reflective of who we are, or our relationship with you, and we apologize.

As you know from our conversations, we will be taking steps over the coming weeks and months to refine and hone our on-air presentations. But this is collaborative work among you, our valued guests and vendors, and our hosts, TV and merchandising teams. We’ve always seen our work together as a partnership to deliver the best information to our customers and give her the important facts she needs to make a buying decision. That will never change.

Of course, this is not the kind of message I would want to send in a mass e-mail, but I wanted to communicate with you as quickly as possible. Please know that the lines of communication are open and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Best, Mike

Yes, best indeedy.

QVC Sales Up 3 Percent, HSN Down 9 Percent in 1Q

May 13, 2018

The owner of QVC and HSN now has a new name, Qurate Retail Inc., and the company reported first-quarter earnings last week. The bottom line on the bottom line is that QVC was up, and HSN was down.

QVC saw its revenue rise 3 percent, to $1.417 billion from $1.37 billion year-over year.

Not so good at HSN, where revenue dove 9 percent, to $509 million from $562 million. Guess Mindy Grossman made her exit to Weight Watchers and Oprah Winfrey just in time.

“We are pleased to continue our positive revenue performance at QVC and zulily,” Qurate President and CEO Mike George said in a statement.

“QVC US revenue grew revenue for the third consecutive quarter and QVC International continued its track record of growth,” he said. “ In addition, QVC and zulily posted solid new customer acquisition in the quarter, and QVC continued to extend its reach to developing platforms like Roku and Facebook Live and grow customer engagement. While HSN and Cornerstone results remain challenged, we are confident in our ability to turn around both businesses.”

QVC US realized year-over-year sales gains in all categories, except jewelry and electronics in the quarter. Operating income margin expansion reflects lower amortization as a result of the roll-off of purchase accounting amortization from Qurate Retail’s acquisition of QVC.

Qurate adopted new accounting standards in the quarter, and as a result QVC US has classified about $26 million of revenue from its private-label credit card program in net revenue for the three months ended March 31. Excluding the impact of this accounting adjustment, QVC US revenue grew 2 percent in the first quarter.

Here the sad news on HSN from the 1Q press release:

Although HSN’s results are only included in Qurate Retail’s results beginning Jan. 1, 2018, we believe a discussion of HSN’s stand-alone results compared to the prior year period promotes a better understanding of the overall results of its business.

HSN has reclassified certain costs between line items to conform with Qurate Retail’s reporting for ease of comparability for the periods presented.

In the first quarter, HSN revenue declined in all categories, except beauty.
Average selling price declined primarily driven by a product mix shift away from electronics, which typically carry higher price points. Return rate improved due to a continued positive trend in several categories.

The decline in operating income margin is primarily due to purchase accounting amortization and transaction related costs. Adjusted OIBDA margin declined primarily due to higher inbound and outbound shipping costs and deleveraging of fixed costs due to the decrease in net revenue, offset by higher product margins, lower personnel expenses driven by integration-related synergies and lower bad debt expense.

As a result of Qurate Retail’s adoption of ASC 606 (new accounting standards), HSN has classified approximately $4 million of revenue from its private-label credit card program in net revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2018.
Excluding the impact of this accounting adjustment, HSN revenue declined 10% in the first quarter of 2018.

QVC Honcho Made $7.7 Million Last Year

April 11, 2018

It’s that time of the year, proxy time, when we tear out our hair wishing we had become big company honchos rather than ink-stained wretches. So wanna guess how much the QVC bigwig Mike George raked in last year?

According to a filing with the SEC on Monday, last year the QVC president and CEO received $7.7 million in executive compensation, a big increase over his $5.4 million in 2016. In 2017 he had a base salary of $1.25 million, $4.3 million in stock awards, $2 million in non-equity incentive plan comp and a piddling $171,000 in other comp, chump change.

http://ir.libertyinteractive.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1047469-18-2656&CIK=1355096#A2235222ZPRE14A_HTM_H48

Here’s a bit about his employment arrangement:

On September 27, 2015, the compensation committee approved a new compensation arrangement with Michael A. George, the President and Chief Executive Officer of QVC. The arrangement provides for a five year employment term beginning December 16, 2015 and ending December 31, 2020, with an annual base salary of $1.25 million and an annual target cash bonus equal to 100% of Mr. George’s annual base salary.

The arrangement also provides Mr. George with the opportunity to earn annual performance-based equity incentive awards during the employment term, as described in more detail below. In connection with the approval of his compensation arrangement, Mr. George was granted the 2015 Term Options with respect to shares of QRTEA, also as described in more detail below. Mr. George’s compensation arrangement was memorialized in the George Employment Agreement executed on December 16, 2015.

Following its acquisition of HSN, Liberty Interactive Corp. is being renamed Qurate Retail Inc. It will hold a conference call to discuss its first-quarter results May 10 at 11 a.m.

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

The call will be broadcast live via the internet. All interested participants should visit the Qurate website at http://www.libertyinteractive.com/events to register for the webcast. Links to the press release and replays of the call will also be available on the Qurate website. The conference call will be archived on the website for one year after appropriate filings have been made with the SEC.

Jewelry Designer Dweck At QVC, Wendi Russo Exits Evine

April 3, 2018

Catching up:

We’ve long admired upscale jewelry designer Stephen Dweck’s gorgeous chunky gem pieces, which we would longingly gaze at in showcases in stores like Neiman Marcus.

Now Dweck is doing a jewelry line for QVC. The pieces are not cheap, but they are less pricey than his Neiman stuff. One silver chain was already on wait list.

http://www.qvc.com/catalog/search.html?keyword=Stephen+Dweck

We’re told the Evine host Wendi Ross has left the network. From what we can tell from her Facebook page, she is coaching young women how to complete in beauty pageants now.

She had been at the home shopping network since June 2004, a pretty long run of 14 years.

Ex-Makeup Mogul Bobbi Brown Brings Wellness To QVC

April 3, 2018

Former makeup mogul Bobbi Brown, who lives in our town of Montclair, N.J., will be debuting a wellness line on QVC on April 20, according to The Sunday New York Times.

The Times did a mega-profile on Brown, who also spends time in a multimillion dollar apartment on Manhattan’s High Line, that unveiled her plans and gave a lot of tidbits about her personal life and career.

Brown, of course, made her name by creating a natural-style beauty line.

In the midst of building that empire, she and her husband developer Steven Plofker, who we covered at Montclair Local, rubbed elbows with celebs galore. She drops quite a few names in The Times piece – evenings with Mike Jagger, fellow Montclair resident Stephen Colbert, and Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen’s spouse.

But as you may or may not know, Brown sold her makeup company for what The Times said was $75 million. Brown claims she doesn’t remember the sale price.
Now she and her husband have opened an upscale boutique hotel in Montclair, The George Inn, and as we said, Brown is coming to QVC with her new wellness products, Beauty Evolution.

QVC Up, HSN Down In Fourth Quarter

March 2, 2018

Liberty Interactive Corp., which now owns both QVC and HSN, reported fourth-quarter earnings for both home shopping channels on Thursday. It was a mixed bag.

The domestic QVC network saw its revenue increase 4 percent, to $2.029 billion, in the quarter year over year. In contrast, it was a tough go for HSN, which experienced an 8 percent revenue drop, to $712 million from $771 million in the year-ago quarter.

Liberty Interactive also announced that it is rebranding its various retailing entities – QVC, HSN, zulily and Cornerstone Brands – from the name QVC Group to Qurate Retail Group Inc.

Liberty Interactive’s purchase of HSN led to $43 million in severance-related costs, which were incurred by HSN. We assume that relates to the exit of HSN’s top management, including former president Bill Brand. Perhaps those costs dragged down HSN’s numbers.

“QVC US and International posted excellent fourth quarter results, and we were pleased to complete the acquisition of HSN,” Liberty Interactive President and CEO Greg Maffei said in a canned statement.

“We anticipate closing the acquisition of GCI and the subsequent creation of two asset-backed stocks, Qurate and GCI Liberty, on March 9. With the separation, Mike George will become President and CEO of Qurate. Mike has done a fantastic job building QVC, delighting customers and driving value for shareholders over the last twelve years. We look forward to him leading this innovative set of companies.”

In the fourth quarter, QVC US saw year-over-year gains in all categories except jewelry, Liberty Interactive said in its press release.

“The operating income margin and adjusted OIBDA margin performance primarily reflects higher fixed costs associated with incentive compensation and HSNi integration consulting services, as well as higher inventory obsolescence and marketing expenses, which were partially offset by lower bad debt and amortization,” the release said.

”The adjusted OIBDA for the fourth quarter includes $7 million of integration costs and a $6 million increase in management bonuses.”

For 2017 versus 2016, QVC’s revenue was basically flat, $6.14 billion compared with $6.12 billion.

QVC enjoyed year-over-year gains in all categories except jewelry. The full year operating income margin and adjusted OIBDA margin performance primarily reflect lower bad debt expense, higher product margins and lower amortization, which were partially offset by higher incentive compensation and inventory obsolescence costs. Adjusted OIBDA in 2017 includes $9 million of HSN integration costs and a $26 million increase in management bonuses.

HSN revenue declined in all categories in the fourth quarter. The average selling price dropped, primarily driven by product mix shift away from electronics, which typically are higher-priced items. The return rate improved due to a continued positive trend in several categories.

Operating income and operating income margin declined, driven by the aforementioned transaction expenses. Adjusted OIBDA and adjusted OIBDA margin improved, largely due to about $16 million in incremental costs incurred in the prior year associated with the implementation of HSN’s warehouse automation initiative. Additionally, the increase in adjusted OIBDA margin was driven by higher product margins, lower selling and marketing costs and a decrease in personnel expenses.

For 2017 compared with 2016, HSN’s revenue dropped 5 percent, to $2.343 billion.

“HSN revenue declined in all categories except home for the full year 2017,” the press release said. “Average selling price declined, primarily driven by product mix shift away from electronics. The sales return rate improved due to a continued positive trend in several categories. The decrease in operating income margin and adjusted OIBDA margin() was due to increases in personnel costs, bad debt expense and lower shipping margins, partially offset by improved product margins and lower selling and marketing costs.”

QVC And Annoying Adjustable Bracelets

March 1, 2018

We are so happy to see that QVC has brought back its 24-hour Big Bonanza Silver Sale. But as for the TSV Thursday, not so much.

Are we the only ones who can’t stand those adjustable bracelets with the sliding bead? We have a very small wrist, so in theory being able to tighten a bracelet sounds great.

But every time we’ve bought one of those bracelets, that double tail that hangs down from it is annoying.

We were actually pondering that earlier this week, and now QVC is hawking four different styles of these adjustable bracelets!

Copycats Heidi Klum on QVC, Iris Apfel on HSN

February 20, 2018

The New York Post did a story Monday on celebrities hawking products by ripping – sorry we mean knocking — off real designers, and both QVC and HSN were cited in the story.

The article, “Attack of the Clones,” talked about one example that we were aware of where a celeb got called out for a product they were selling on QVC. That was the case of model-TV star Heidi Klum, who was in 2007 was sued by high-end jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels for a line she brought to the No. 1 home shopping channel.

Klum’s baubles had a clover-shaped design, which Van Cleef claimed unlawfully imitated its Alhambra collection. QVC pulled the line.

https://nypost.com/2018/02/19/are-celebs-knocking-off-real-designers/

The Post said that the lawsuit was settled and that Klum later claimed that her business partner, Mouawad USA, was not “knowledgeable.”

According to the Post HSN and its owl-eye-glassed vendor Iris Apfel, a Seventh Avenue darling, also got in hot water. In 2011 the married couple that was the force behind Hanna Bernhard alleged that Apfel had copied one of its pins, a large jeweled toucan, for HSN.

The married duo shamed Apfel on their website, charging that Apfel owned their original toucan pin and had imitated it, the Post reported.

HSN later issued a statement saying that Apfel had mistakenly believed that the brooch in her collection was a vintage piece. The objectionable version of the toucan was dropped from Apfel’s HSN line, replaced by a “modified” version, according to the Post.

Honcho Says QVC, HSN Won’t Merge

February 12, 2018

We looked up at our TV screen, tuned to HSN, while in the midst of reading The Sunday New York Times and thought we were hallucinating: HSN host Amy Morrison was on a split screen chatting with QVC’s Rick Domeier.

We don’t know if Domeier was trying to be funny when he didn’t respond to Morrison’s comments and questions or if there were technical difficulties and he couldn’t hear her, but the resulting exchange was awkward and painful to watch.

The brief teaming of the two hosts was part of e kickoff of the marriage of former rivals QVC and HSN was this weekend, with both home shopping networks starting to cross-promote and their king, Mike George, allaying fears about the future of the two channels.

In a letter to viewers on HSN’s website, George reminded everyone that QVC’s parent, Liberty Interactive Corp., but not to worry, the two networks would remain separate.

George wrote:

We’re excited to welcome HSN, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, and Improvements to the QVC family. Together, with zulily, we seek to bring joy and inspiration to you, our loyal customers, daily by combining the best of retail, media, and social.

QVC and HSN will continue to have their own distinct personalities—remaining separate brands, with HSN broadcasting from St. Petersburg, FL and QVC from its studios in West Chester, PA.

HSN and QVC have so much in common. We’re both committed to bringing you curated collections of world-class brands and entrepreneurial products presented in fun, engaging ways. We both strive to connect you with new ideas, interesting conversations, exciting personalities, and the hottest pop-culture events via our broadcast channels, websites, mobile apps, social pages, and other touchpoints. And we’re both constantly innovating—always looking for ways to make your experience with us richer and more exciting.

Thank you for your loyalty and commitment to HSN, to QVC, or to both brands. We look forward to continuing to offer you extraordinary shopping experiences.

Mike George

President and CEO, QVC, Inc.

The next few months should be interesting.

And Amy, enough with the extensions.