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QVC Owner Courts 50+ Women as Revenues Slip

With revenues sliding, Qurate Retail is focused on women over 50 and their discretionary income.

The parent company of QVC and HSN on Wednesday (May 8) released quarterly earnings showing its revenues declining 4% year over year, contributing to an overall drop of 11%. Those figures mirrored the company’s quarterly report from February.

“Consumers remain selective in their spending due to inflation and interest rate uncertainty,” David Rawlinson, Quarate’s CEO and president, said during an earnings call.

Meanwhile, revenues for “Cornerstone” — the umbrella term for the company’s various lifestyle brands — fell 11% during the quarter.

Rawlinson said this was “due to soft housing starts in consumer demand for home furnishings,” along with a “shift to lower-ticket products such as textiles and decor in light of the challenging macro backdrop.”  

Customers, he said, are still engaged, still watching, still shopping, though the company has spotted some “trading down” and showing a preference for lower price points.

“And we also see a little bit of leaning away from especially large purchases where consumers look to be a bit more considered,” Rawlinson added.

As PYMNTS wrote earlier this week, commentary from other companies during this earnings season has shown how much consumers are pulling back

For example, Citi CEO Jane Fraser said at the end of last month that shoppers are becoming more cautious in their spending and making small purchases. Nearly all spending growth is coming from affluent customers, and there is less spending by consumers with lower credit scores, she added.

Meanwhile Discover Financial Chief Financial Officer John Greene said during that company’s earnings call that card sales fell 1% year over year, with sales slowing “across categories with the largest decline occurring in the everyday category, which includes supermarkets, gas and wholesale clubs.”

Back at Quarate, Rawlinson said a bright spot for the quarter was the company’s Q50 marketing initiative focused on women over the age of 50, who he says has long been QVC’s core customers. It’s a group with high levels of discretionary income, but who nonetheless feel overlooked by brands and marketers.

“We conducted a survey of over 3,700 respondents and found that only 31% of women ages 50 to 70 feel supported by brands, even fewer feel visible in brand marketing and advertising,” Rawlinson told analysts during the call. “These women are often made to feel that society views entering 50 as the stage of decline.”