Shopaholic insomniacs tune to ValueVision Media's live, 24-hour, at-home shopping channel. Its ShopNBC unit, which trails industry leaders QVC and HSN, sells jewelry and watches (more than 50% of sales), home goods and electronics, beauty and fitness products, and apparel and accessories. The shopping network reaches more than 79 million homes throughout the US via cable and satellite TV. Programming is also streamed live on the Web and on various mobile devices, as well as through social networking sites. Typical viewers are women between the ages of 40 and 69 with household incomes that exceed $50,000. ValueVision's e-commerce arm, ShopNBC.com, accounts for a growing portion of the company's sales.
Indeed, net sales from the Internet business grew to account for 41% of consolidated sales in fiscal 2011 (ends January), up from just 32% two years ago. With sales generated by its TV programming declining and proving difficult to turn around, ShopNBC.com is ValueVision Media's growth engine. Overall, the multi-channel retailer's fiscal 2011 sales rose 6.5% vs. the previous year. Still, the $562 million it rung up was well below fiscal 2008 when sales topped $781 million. Also, the company has been profitable in only one (2008) of the past 10 years.
To grow its sales and boost the bottom line, ValueVision Media has worked to broaden and fine tune its product mix to attract new customers and get existing ones to spend more. Over the past few years, the retailer has reduced its reliance on jewelry and watches, while growing its beauty, health and fitness sales. ValueVision Media is focused on developing new products across various merchandise categories. It's also working to grow its online business by adding more Internet-only merchandise. Mobile and social media are key to the company's new customer recruitment efforts.
ValueVision Media holds an exclusive license from NBCUniversal for the use of the NBC brand name and peacock image. The license expires in May 2012 (with a one-year extension option). NBCUniversal, controlled by cable giant Comcast, is ValueVision Media's largest stockholder with more than 13% of the company's shares. After announcing plans to sell its stake in the home shopping channel, NBCUniversal later scrapped those plans amid a weak stock price. – less