Qurate Retail Group has announced a series of initiatives designed to position its HSN and QVC U.S. businesses for long-term growth, increase synergies and accelerate the company’s digital transformation. The moves include the elimination of the QVC U.S. president position, with the exit of Steve Hofmann, who currently holds that position, and the combination of buying staffs.
In effect, the moves will create an integrated operation that will function as a new business unit dubbed QXH.
Qurate stated that it is combining the HSN and QVC U.S. buying organizations and structuring them around seven strategic category groups: Apparel, Accessories and Jewelry, Beauty, Kitchen Electronics and Cookware, Home Innovations, Home Style, and Consumer Electronics.
The company pointed out that it expects the integrated buying organization to deliver benefits including increased speed to market with brands, products, ideas and entrepreneurs, and optimized product assortments across QXH’s five U.S. networks and multiple web and social platforms that will maximize customer choice. The company added that it also anticipated more aggressive pursuit of white space opportunities and better alignment with vendor partners.
HSN will retain its St. Petersburg, FL headquarters, in part to maintain a separate identity from QVC. However, QRG is closing the HSN Ingenious Designs facility in Long Island, NY, shifting product design and sourcing conducted there to its in-house design and sourcing team. QRG will eliminate 350 positions by the end of 2018, the majority in HSN’s St. Petersburg and Long Island operations, and a smaller number in West Chester, PA, where QVC’s headquarters has operated.
The company will also combine the HSN and QVC U.S. fulfillment networks to enhance delivery speed and lower costs, with a first phase that includes opening a new state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Bethlehem, PA, in 2019. The company plans to close fulfillment centers in Lancaster, PA, Roanoke, VA and Greeneville, TN, in 2020, eliminating 1,725 positions in those centers while hiring 1,200 to 1,500 positions at the new Bethlehem facility. Qurate is moving to a leased versus owned model for many of its fulfillment facilities to increase flexibility and reduce longer term capital requirements.
The QXH leadership team, reporting to Mike George, president and CEO, Qurate Retail, will include Mary Campbell, chief merchandising officer, Qurate, and chief commerce officer, QVC U.S., who will supervise QXH merchandising, marketing, brand and digital strategy, and QVC U.S. digital, content and broadcast operations. It also will include Mike Fitzharris, president, HSN, who will have responsibility for QXH video platform expansion and distribution, and HSN digital, content, and broadcast operations.
“Today’s initiatives are the next step in our ongoing review of how to best continue the integration of HSN and QVC,” George said. ‘With a focus on driving digital transformation, these efforts will extend our leadership in social, digital, and video commerce.”
George also indicated that Qurate, “is committed to extending our leadership in a rapidly changing retail market and attracting the next generation of consumers by bringing compelling product discoveries to market every day, creating seamless customer experiences and developing highly engaging digital and social shopping platforms. The changes announced today will enable us to accelerate this transformation by better leveraging the considerable scale and resources of our HSN and QVC U.S. businesses.”