QVC Plans To Buy, Merge With Rival Shopping Network HSN | KERA News

QVC Plans To Buy, Merge With Rival Shopping Network HSN

Jul 6, 2017
Originally published on July 6, 2017 9:12 pm

Under pressure from the growth of online retailing, TV shopping giant QVC intends to acquire its rival HSN Inc. in a $2.1 billion deal.

The merger, announced Thursday, would create a company with $14 billion in annual sales, NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

QVC's parent company, Liberty Interactive, already owns a big chunk of HSN — 38 percent of its stock. Now it intends to purchase the remaining stake, closing the deal in the fourth quarter of the year, according to a company statement.

The deal involves stock trades, not cash: Investors in HSN would receive 1.65 shares of QVC stock for each share of HSN stock.

"Both companies, QVC and Home Shopping Network, have seen their sales decline as the retail landscape shifts as more consumers buy more products online," Yuki reports. "Combined, the companies will operate five networks in the U.S., and will control home furnishing brands such as Ballard Designs, Frontgate and QVC's online clothing seller Zulily.

"The companies also intend to invest in e-commerce and mobile operations," Yuki says.

In recent years, media outlets like The Washington Post and Fast Company reported that QVC has "quietly" and "gracefully" mastered the transition from land lines to smartphones by making it easier for viewers to buy products on their devices. Last summer, Business Insider noted that mobile purchases were making up a majority of QVC's e-commerce orders.

QVC revenues were $8.7 billion last year, CNN Money reports; HSN had $3.5 billion in sales.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Two media giants are joining forces.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Before we could buy almost anything with our smartphones there was the Home Shopping Network and QVC.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I am telling you this hairspray is amazing. Now, do you love my Plump 'N Thick?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: I - I keep, like, 8 cans at a time...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, girl, let me give you a can of spray.

MCEVERS: QVC and the Home Shopping Network, or HSN, launched in the mid-'80s. Since then, the two have grown into TV behemoths by marketing things to us we never knew we needed.

BRIAN STEINBERG: There are legions of people who sit at home on their couches, watch the sales pitches on these networks and buy all kinds of things from designer gowns to crazy gadgets to kitchenware.

SIEGEL: Brian Steinberg is TV editor at Variety. He says the deal, worth over $2 billion, unites two rivals.

STEINBERG: Like having Coke and Pepsi merge. And these two networks at one time were really quite something. They kind of created a business out of nowhere, the business of selling things direct to consumers through a TV network.

SIEGEL: The plan is for HSN and QVC to retain their unique brands.

MCEVERS: And if you're looking to honor their commitment, HSN has some lovely crystal glasses on offer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: I mean, this is crystal. This is not just your everyday glasses that you see, you know...

MCEVERS: Operators are standing by.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLOOD ORANGE SONG, "UNCLE ACE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.