ValueVision narrows loss, looks to improve home

Retail Editor 3, November 14, 2012

Minneapolis - Narrowing its net loss and eking out a modest sales increase in the third quarter, multichannel electronic retailer ValueVision - aka ShopNBC - managed to offset declines in its ailing home business by making strides in its emerging beauty, health and fitness business.

As has been the case throughout the year, soft sales of electronics weighed down the home category. Home textiles and furnishings generated "a strong performance," the company reported.

The company is keenly focused on mending its problems in home, having already implemented various efforts to improve on the product breadth and depth. ValueVision has shifted airtime from jewelry and watches to invest in its home and consumer electronics and beauty, health, and fitness categories in Q3.

"This airtime shift helped diversify our product mix and reduce our average selling price, contributing to improved new and active customer counts in the quarter," said ceo Keith Stewart, adding that "we still have work to do in the home and consumer electronics category to further broaden our product mix."

Stewart also cited ongoing initiatives to improve customer service and engagement as having yielded positive results in the third quarter, including improved call center efficiency and lower transaction costs.

"Additionally, our 'Watch & Shop Anytime, Anywhere' strategy is constantly evolving to align with our customers' shopping preferences," he said. "This initiative further supported growth in our mobile penetration, which has more than doubled to approximately 16% of Internet sales year-to-date versus last year."

ValueVision reported a third quarter net loss of $3.7 million, narrowed from the year-ago period's $6.3 million net loss. Net sales were up 1.8% to $137.6 million in the quarter.

Year to date, net loss narrowed to $16.3 million from $39.7 million in 2011, and sales declined 0.4% to $409.3 million.

Responding to shoppers' interest in more value-priced goods, the company reduced its average selling price by 4.8% to $100 in the third quarter, and net shipped units rose 7.2%.

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