Posts Tagged ‘Weight Watchers’

Mindy’s Swan Song: HSN’s 1Q Sales Dip 3 Percent

May 4, 2017

The hits keep coming for home shopping, with HSN reporting on Wednesday that its sales slipped 3 percent, to $560.5 million, in the first quarter. And the channel put some of the blame on Leap Year.

“Excluding the benefit of having an additional day for leap year in the first quarter of 2016, HSN’s net sales decreased 2 percent,” the network said in its press release.

Mindy Grossman, HSN’s veteran CEO, was missing from the Wall Street conference call on the earnings. That’s because she’s leaving to join to head up Oprah Winfrey’s Weight Watcher’s International.

Last week HSN Inc., which includes not only the shopping channel but Cornerstone Brands Inc., announced that Grossman had resigned effective May 24. Until a successor is named, the board has established the Office of the Chief Executive consisting of Chief Financial Officer Rod Little, HSN President Bill Brand and Judy Schmeling, chief operating officer of HSNi and president of Cornerstone.

LIttle offered the canned statement:

We continue to focus on stabilization and ultimately growth regeneration in the business. The continued strength of digital sales, and mobile sales in particular, has been very encouraging. Digital sales, which now account for over half of our revenue, continued to grow both in absolute terms and as a proportion of total revenue. Mobile, which we see as our flagship, continues to be our fastest growing sales channel and significant source of new customer acquisition.

We remain committed to our strategies to improve our performance. Our key priorities are: acquiring and retaining customers via a robust and relevant product portfolio, optimizing our digital platforms, and improving our supply chain capabilities and efficiency, all to drive consistent shareholder value creation.

As we look to celebrate our 40th anniversary this summer, we thank Mindy Grossman for her vision, inspiration and leadership over the past decade.

HSN’s digital sales grew 3 percent with penetration increasing 290 basis points to 46.7 percent. Apparel, accessories, kitchen and home revenue increased, offset by decreases in other product categories. Shipping revenue declined main to the August 2016 changes in the network’s standard shipping rates and increased promotions.

The average price point increased 4 percent largely due to changes in product mix. Units shipped decreased 8 percent.

HSN’s gross profit decreased 4 percent to $191.1 million. Gross profit rate decreased 40 basis points to 34.1 percent primarily due to a decrease in shipping revenues and higher fulfillment costs, partially offset by an increase in product margins.

The increase in fulfillment costs was primarily the result of the ongoing implementation of HSN’s supply chain optimization which, among other things, includes expanding the automation capabilities in its Piney Flats, Tenn., distribution center.

HSNi’s net sales decreased 4% to $785.4 million. Excluding the results of TravelSmith and Chasing Fireflies, two Cornerstone brands divested last September, and an additional day for leap year within the HSN segment, HSNi’s net sales dropped 1 percent.

Holy Mackerel: HSN CEO Grossman To Head Oprah’s Weight Watchers

April 27, 2017

We guess we really shouldn’t have been surprised when we checked our email Wednesday and saw the press release that HSN CEO Mindy Grossman was leaving the home shopping network for another gig.

Over the years she has been mentioned as a candidate for a number top jobs, including Avon.

But her landing at Weight Watchers International Inc., where lifestyle guru Oprah Winfrey is now queen, was quite a surprise. But it seems like a pretty smart move to hitch your wagon to Winfrey, without a doubt. So good for Grossman.

Meet Weight Watchers new president and CEO, Mindy Grossman

“Mindy is proven as a successful visionary and entrepreneurial force in business and I look forward to working with her,” Winfrey said in a statement. “She has the experience, the passion and the positive energy to take Weight Watchers to exciting new places.”

And threw in her two cents.

“I am thrilled to join Weight Watchers and lead the next phase of the company’s transformation,” she said.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to leverage technology and consumer insights to create innovative personal experiences, build loyal communities and accelerate growth. Ultimately, the ability to inspire people to live healthier and happier lives is what excites me both personally and professionally. I look forward to partnering with the Board – including Oprah – and the team to help Weight Watchers transform the lives of people around the world through weight loss and healthier living.”

There have been a zillion stories crediting Grossman with taking HSN to the next level, by bringing in name brands and vendors who gave the network a cachet.

On the other hand, her strategy alienated many long-time HSN fans. and home shopping channels have seen their revenue drop in the face of a tough retail environment.

Here’s part of the HSN press release on Grossman’s exit:

Grossman’s resignation will be effective on May 24, 2017, and she will not stand for election to the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders on the same date. In the interim, she will work with senior management and the Board to ensure a smooth transition. The Board has retained a national search firm to assist with the search for a successor that will include both internal and external candidates.

In addition, the Board has established the Office of the Chief Executive whose members will manage the company’s day-to-day operations and engage with the Board on a regular basis until a successor is named. The Office of the Chief Executive will consist of Rod R. Little, Chief Financial Officer; William C. Brand, Chief Marketing Officer of HSNi and President of HSN; and Judy A. Schmeling, Chief Operating Officer of HSNi and President of Cornerstone Brands, Inc.

Chairman of the Board Arthur C. Martinez said, “On behalf of the Board, we thank Mindy for her visionary leadership and many contributions to our company during a transformative period in its history. She has been a committed partner to the Board in the development of important initiatives that have created a solid foundation for the future. We will miss her energy, creativity and passion for our company, and wish her success in her future endeavors.”

“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished at HSNi and believe that the company is well positioned for the future. It has been an honor to work with such an inspired team over the past decade as we transformed the business to lead the future of boundaryless retail. With a focus on customer engagement, digital innovation, product excellence and immersive and community-oriented content, HSNi will be able to thrive in the modern retail environment, where consumers are looking for experiences and meaning,” Grossman said.

“I want to thank our Board and our talented management team for their partnership and support, and look forward to working with them to ensure a seamless transition.”

How Much Did Xcelerator, Weight Watchers And Hypnosis Each Contribute To Fergie’s Weight Loss?

August 13, 2015

Well, Sarah Ferguson’s appearance on QVC Wednesday to tout a juicer was news in Great Britain, where The Express did a story about it.

The headline from the article used a great quote from the Duchess of York’s debut on the home shopping channel: “‘I’m no longer Duchess of Pork’ says Sarah Ferguson in her new job SELLING JUICERS.”

On QVC Fergie said she went whole hog on a diet after seeing a photo of herself at nearly 200 pounds.

We blogged about her TV appearance yesterday (sorry we misspelled Duchess), selling the Fusion Xcelerator, but at that time didn’t realize some of the questions it raised.

Fergie — or perhaps more accurately, QVC host David Venable — said words to the effect that her 50-pound loss was due to a combination of factors, including the Xcelerator.

We were reminded by readers later that Fergie had previously served as a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers. So how much did that diet regime contribute to her diet success, we wonder.

Then the New York Post Wednesday had a story with the headline “Trance-ing With The Stars,” about celebs using hypnosis to get them to work out. That article said that Fergie was among the “notables” who had “sung the praises of hypnosis for weight loss over the years.”

So, granted, QVC did qualify the claims about the Xcelerator’s contribution to Fergie’s weight loss, but we don’t know, it doesn’t seem quite kosher.

How much did the fancy blender, Weight Watchers and hypnosis each contribute to Fergie’s weight loss?