National Jeweler Network

Financial Reporting

First quarter US sales up just 1 percent for QVC

May 09, 2014

Englewood, Colo.--Another multimedia retailer reported that 2014 was off to a weak start, with sales for QVC essentially falling flat in the first quarter in a “difficult retail environment.”

Parent company Liberty Interactive Corp. reported Thursday that QVC’s U.S. revenues rose from $1.30 billion to $1.31 billion year-over-year, an increase of 1 percent. Electronics was the retailer’s weakest category.

Operating income was up 3 percent while the average sale price also increased, from $60.51 to $60.89.

Online sales were up 8 percent, from $544 million to $590 million. E-commerce increased from 42 percent to 45 percent of total U.S. sales for QVC and, of that, the retailer reported that 37 percent of U.S. e-commerce sales came from mobile devices.

Total sales for the company, including its international division, also were up 1 percent year-over-year, rising from $1.97 billion to $1.99 billion.

QVC President and CEO Mike George called the multimedia retailer’s first quarter results “solid” in spite of a “difficult retail environment.”

“We attribute part of this to QVC’s high-quality, differentiated product offering and our ability to know what customers want, when they want it,” he said, noting that the company would be expanding into France in the coming months.

QVC’s nearly flat first quarter sales performance comes on the heels of a similar report from competitor HSN, which saw its first quarter sales decline 1 percent, with jewelry noted as one of the weaker categories for the multimedia retailer. (Liberty Interactive Group owns a 38 percent stake in HSN Inc.)

HSN Inc. CEO Mindy Grossman cited the severe winter weather as one of the factors impacting sales.

Quarterly results from a number of the country’s other large retailers are scheduled to be released in the next few weeks, including Tiffany & Co. and Signet Jewelers Inc., Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Target.