National Jeweler Network

Financial Reporting

ShopHQ shifting away from jewelry

November 21, 2013

Minneapolis--Third quarter sales grew for Shop HQ, formerly ShopNBC, as did the company’s customer base, a change it attributes to selling fewer items in the jewelry and watches category while bulking up its selection elsewhere.

According to results released Wednesday by parent company ValueVision Media Inc., Shop HQ net sales in the third quarter ended Nov. 2 totaled $147 million compared with $138 million in the third quarter 2012, an increase of 7 percent. Fashion and accessories and home and consumer electronics were the top-selling categories.

Online sales as a percentage of net sales increased from 45 to 47 percent. Mobile sales were up 45 percent, and grew to 22 percent of all online sales, compared with 18 percent in the third quarter 2012.

Net loss shrunk from $4 million to $1 million.

The average price point declined 20 percent, from $100 to $80, and the total number of customers purchasing grew 13 percent from 1.09 million to 1.25 million.

ShopHQ said the growth in its customer base was due to having more lower-priced merchandise and selling more fashion, accessories, home and electronics products instead of jewelry and watches.

“We are pleased with our operating performance in the third quarter, which marked our sixth consecutive quarter of sales growth … We continued to improve our product offerings and to diversify our product mix. We achieved double-digit customer growth,” ValueVision CEO Keith Stewart said.

He noted that ShopNBC’s rebranding to ShopHQ, which was announced in May, is largely complete.  The company’s licensing agreement with NBC Universal will expire in January, which means the multimedia retailer had to find a new name and abandon the iconic peacock logo.

During the third quarter, ValueVision came under pressure from activist hedge fund the Clinton Group Inc., which wants the retailer to oust its CEO and the majority of its board because, it claims, ShopHQ is underperforming. Clinton Group demanded the company call a special meeting of shareholders, but ValueVision refused, stating that the hedge fund had no legal basis for forcing it to do so.

On Monday Clinton Group, fired back, threatening legal action if ValueVision does not call the meeting, The New York Times reported.