Saturday, January 20, 2018
Business

Sales, profits drop at TV/online retailer HSN as company plans to sell off two catalog businesses

TV and online retailer HSN Inc. reported a 4 percent drop in net sales and a sharper 36 percent decline in profit for the second quarter, prompting a shuffling of managers and the planned sale of two of the St. Petersburg company's apparel lines — TravelSmith and Chasing Fireflies.

HSN shares dropped 10 percent Thursday in response to its weaker performance.

Acknowledging HSN is "navigating in a challenging macro environment," CEO Mindy Grossman said the company was "focused on execution, combined with disciplined operating expense management and optimizing operational efficiencies."

To boost flagging revenues, Grossman said HSN aims to sell more products that are not available elsewhere, add new programming and find more compelling partnerships.

At Cornerstone, HSN's line of catalog businesses where quarterly sales slipped 5 percent, Grossman said HSN will focus on its brands with the greatest growth opportunities. As a result, HSN has entered into a letter of intent to sell its TravelSmith (clothing aimed at travelers) and Chasing Fireflies (whimsical kids clothing) businesses.

HSN also named Judy Schmeling, its current chief operating officer and chief financial officer, as the new president of Cornerstone Brands.

"Judy has extensive strategic and financial expertise and over 20 years of experience at the company across all areas of the business," Grossman said. "I have great confidence that she is the right leader to drive the Cornerstone business."

As part of HSN's belt tightening, the company has decided not to pursue its Shop HSN site at Tampa International Airport. HSN earlier had planned live broadcast remote shows from the store.

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