QVC Locks Up HSN in $2-Billion Acquisition Deal

Online shopping has most certainly redefined what it means to shop without being in a brick-and-mortar store.

From buying items at home, work or while on a vacation, eCommerce has significantly impacted the way consumers buy goods.

However, the initial foray into changing the way people shop was late-night infomercials and home shopping channels. Word on the street is that longtime rivals QVC and Home Shopping Network (HSN) have consolidated to become one company.

In a $2.1-billion deal, QVC has shared the news that it has acquired HSN.

QVC’s parent company, Liberty Interactive Corp., already owned a 38.2 percent stake in HSN’s owner, HSNI, but this deal will give it the remaining 61.8 percent. This deal comes on the heels of the departure of CEO Mindy Grossman this past May. Grossman went on to become the president and CEO of Weight Watchers International.

HSNI’s current chairman, Arthur C. Martinez, commented on this new joint venture and what it will do for the home shopping industry.

In a statement to Chain Store Age he said, “Joining the QVC Group will give us instant access to global consumer markets, a leadership team with deep expertise and a global perspective, and the opportunity to further strengthen our content-based brand portfolios in a changing retail landscape. We have both been innovators in a growing and dynamic retail environment with a unique vision of what shopping should be, and as new technologies continue to change our everyday lives, together we can develop the next generation of shopping for the next generation of consumers.”

At this time, details of what’s going to happen behind the scenes in terms of which HSN executives will stay on or part ways has not been disclosed.

Given the nature of the retail industry, the consolidation of these two companies will help strengthen the future of home shopping networks. The hopes for QVC is that this deal will help to strengthen its eCommerce, mobile and streaming video products. In the company’s release, QVC President and CEO Mike George shared his thoughts on just how this will affect those areas.

“By creating the leader in discovery-based shopping, we will enhance the customer experience, accelerate innovation, leverage our resources and talents to further strengthen our brands, and redeploy savings for innovation and growth,” George said. “As the prominent global video commerce retailer and North America’s third largest mobile and eCommerce retailer, the combined company will be well-positioned to help shape the next generation of retailing.”

As the retail industry continues to undergo its digital transformation, home shopping channels like QVC may prove to be more successful than traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Rather than spending a lot of money to integrate digital technology like physical stores, QVC has the advantage of not having a space to upgrade. This may turn into a tug-of-war in terms of how brick-and-mortar stores will now compete with an already established home shopping arena like QVC.




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