The power of HSN's Sellavision: Recession drives more upscale products to 24/7 TV sales
Wake up and good morning. Some cool insights to be found about St. Petersburg's HSN, the 24/7 TV retailer, and how CEO Mindy Grossman is revolutionizing its image in this Bloomberg BusinessWeek article. The key takeaway: That HSN's evolved from selling schlock to a place -- dubbed sellavision -- that more upscale players want to be on. (Grossman photo courtesy of HSN.)
For example, the story notes, to attract more power shoppers, Grossman convinced a new type of designer to create collections for HSN. Among those who have "happily, if nervously," appeared on the network as a result of Grossman's coaxing are Naeem Khan, who designed the silver sequined gown Michelle Obama (shown, right) wore to the President's first state dinner, and Badgley Mischka, who dressed Helen Mirren in gray silk and organza (shown below, left) for this year's Academy Awards.
Grossman "promised to protect them and their brands from ridicule" and to present their clothes in sophisticated settings as she exposed them to an audience far greater than they could otherwise reach, the story says.
HSN merchandising head Lynne Ronon also had to sell them on appearing on HSN: "I knew they would be concerned about their image."
One recession and several well-publicized sold-out shows later, the power has shifted, Ronon told the magazine. Ronon, noting HSN's rising success rate in choosing who gets on the TV channel, gets the best quote in the article:
"We say 'No' more than we say 'Yes,'" she says.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist