HSN and QVC shop for retail store space

Discussion
Photo: QVC
Oct 13, 2016
Matthew Stern

Television shopping channels HSN and QVC are doubtlessly aware that, in the homes of Millennials and Generation Zers, cable television isn’t the ubiquitous fixture that it was for their parents. While the two networks have reportedly been doubling down on digital and mobile to chase the cord-cutters, their latest moves point in the direction of bricks, not clicks.

Both networks are looking to expand their now minimal brick-and-mortar presences into one of the highest-profile areas for shopping in the country, the New York Post reported. The retailers have been eyeing locations on West 34th Street in Manhattan. HSN currently has outlets in Florida only. QVC has a few scattered around the country, concentrated mostly in Pennsylvania.

A move onto West 34th Street near Herald Square, home to the Macy’s flagship store, could mean the networks are each rethinking the role of the physical store in how they do business. But with the companies’ respective moves into Manhattan only in the preliminary stages, one can only speculate about what omnichannel technologies the stores might leverage and what shape the retail experiences may take.

Both networks have meanwhile been trying to make inroads into the mobile and digital shopping spaces with a variety of shopping apps. QVC released an Apple Watch app as well as an Apple TV app that facilitates one-click purchasing. And in a move reminiscent of retailers like Lowe’s, HSN recently released an augmented reality smartphone app that allows people to view their homes with images of products they want superimposed over the space.

Both have also struggled to translate their businesses onto the online world. QVC and HSN have live-streaming presences on the web for non-cable ready customers, but they’re seeing big-name competition. Earlier this year, Amazon launched Style Code Live, an interactive shopping show that streams on Amazon.com. The program features young celebrity hosts and is being used to promote the company’s private label fashion brands.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What might QVC and HSN have in mind as they open more physical retail locations such as stores on West 34th Street in Manhattan? Do you expect to see the home shopping services make stores a bigger part of their retailing mix?

Braintrust
"I'd like to see some pop-up shops here and there to surprise and delight shoppers in other major market locations!"
"Just like internet sales, QVC and HSN battle high returns. Twenty to 50 percent of online sales are returned..."
"As QVC and HSN look to create an offline retail presence, I would like to see them leverage concept stores with shoppable walls in urban areas..."

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5 Comments on "HSN and QVC shop for retail store space"

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Bob Amster
BrainTrust

To quote the late Jimmy Durante: “Everybody wants to get into the act!”

I have not yet come up with what these two very special channel leaders have got in mind for physical stores. We know that they have pretty easy access to product, but is it going to do well in physical stores? Whatever the concept is, it cannot be their current cable concept. I think this deserves a “wait-and-see” answer …

Jasmine Glasheen
Guest
Jasmine Glasheen
11 months 10 days ago

Brick-and-mortar stores are evolving into testing centers, which is exactly what QVC needs. Its inventory of unique (sometimes strange) demonstrable goods needs an audience. By this I mean, they’ve built their empire on making a show of their products to rustle up enthusiasm.

Modern consumers won’t watch five hours of advertisement on television, but will we attend an informative live product demonstration with samples? I can get behind that.

Ironically, with the rise of online shopping brick-and-mortar has increased in relevance for companies like QVC/HSN that are based in interactive experience.

Anne Howe
BrainTrust

It’s only logical for HSN and QVC to feel the need for physical retail, given that so many shoppers still crave the touch and feel sensory experiences that “in real life” shopping provides. And what better place than Herald Square to reach a wide and diverse audience?

I hope they both go all out to provide an invigorating and helpful shopper experience, hopefully designed around shopper insights and human behavior and decision principles.

I expect this will be a slow roll as they test the waters, but I’d like to see some pop-up shops here and there to surprise and delight shoppers in other major market locations!

Marge Laney
BrainTrust
11 months 10 days ago

Just like internet sales, QVC and HSN battle high returns. Twenty to 50 percent of online sales are returned and 70 percent of the apparel returned is due to fit issues.

People try and buy whether that’s in the store or at home. If they don’t like what they see and/or try in a store it’s there for the next shopper to pick up. If they don’t like what they see and/or try when they’re at home it goes back to the retailer at a much higher cost and is rarely able to be resold.

Bottom line — it’s much more profitable for high-return items like apparel to be sold in-store.

Karen S. Herman
BrainTrust

As QVC and HSN look to create an offline retail presence, I would like to see them leverage concept stores with shoppable walls in urban areas and mobile retail, such as fashion trucks, for urban and rural areas. These specific offline retail formats complement the mobile apps and AR the networks are developing and would give a cool, techie edge to bolster brand recognition.

Brands and businesses have many other options than pop up stores and I’d like to see these networks double down on creative and digitally integrated offline retail. Cool and connected is the way to go here.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I'd like to see some pop-up shops here and there to surprise and delight shoppers in other major market locations!"
"Just like internet sales, QVC and HSN battle high returns. Twenty to 50 percent of online sales are returned..."
"As QVC and HSN look to create an offline retail presence, I would like to see them leverage concept stores with shoppable walls in urban areas..."

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