ValueVision to change brand name from ShopNBC to ShopHQ; reports first profit in 7 years (Comcast owns 14%)

Tom Paine

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Eden Prarie, Minnesota-based ValueVision, which operates its home shopping network under the brand name ShopNBC, announced yesterday that it will rebrand itself as ShopHQ.

COO Carol Steinberg (a QVC and David's Bridal veteran and Temple Fox School alum) said that the company's NBC branding caused "a little bit of a disconnect with our business -- they're broadcasting, and we're retail." The company said it had been considering a name change for some time.

While the move will save ValueVision $4 million per year in licensing fees, Steinberg indicated that the rebranding will not change its relationship with NBC parent Comcast, which owns 14% of ValueVision, and that Comcast had been supportive of the decision.

ValueVision also reported yesterday its first quarterly profit since 2006, earning $1 million on revenue of $151.4 million.

In the small world of home shopping television, ValueVision is a minnow compared to West Chester-based QVC and HSN (Home Shopping Channel). ValueVision's top management is heavily staffed by QVC veterans. There has been frequent discussion by QVC parent Liberty Interactive's management about the possibility of buying out the 80% or so of
HSN it does not already own and combining its operations with those of QVC. Comcast, which at one time owned QVC, has not indicated any recent interest in expanding in the home shopping business. Its stake in ValueVision came through the acquisition of NBCU.

While the cable TV platforms are still very valuable merchandising platforms, the home shopping channnls are conducting an increasing amount of their business online. ValueVision said 46.2% of its sales came through online orders last quarter. But
while the ecommerce industry is booming, the home shopping channels are seeing slow growth.