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HSN chief says consumers now motivated by more than discounts

Consumers are easing their grip on discretionary spending and starting to be motivated by compelling products rather than just discounts, says Mindy Grossman, chief executive of TV shopping pioneer HSN Inc.

After posting retail industry-leading double-digit sales increases for two quarters, HSN is learning postrecession shopping habits are changing, Grossman said after the company's 11-minute annual meeting Wednesday.

"We're still cautious about the recovery in consumer spending, but the customer emerging is more discerning. Whether it's $19 or $500, she has to see real added value built into the product," she said.

After toping $1 billion in online sales in 2009 — more than a third of its business — the St. Petersburg company is now among top-tier e-commerce retailers.

Grossman plans to invest more in developing wireless mobile commerce, which she sees as the next retail frontier: cell phones, smart phones and e-readers like the iPad.

"It's not about HSN everywhere," she said. "It's about the customer being able to access us whenever they want, wherever they are."

HSN chief says consumers now motivated by more than discounts 05/19/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 7:25pm]
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