Home shopping channels are chasing luxury consumers as high-end designers look for new markets to sell their growing collections. Transforming these channels from technological throwbacks into cutting edge sales opportunities, designers such as Jonathan Adler and Badgley Mischka are tapping into home shopping networks to reach a wider demographic and up their revenue, reported CNNMoney.
"The recession may be the best thing that happened to the home shopping networks because designers needed new outlets to offer more affordable prices," Jack Plunkett, CEO of Plunkett Research, said to CNNMoney.
Shopping channels, through direct sales to the consumer, can offer goods without the hefty mark-ups often added by boutiques and department stores. Put plainly, they can save you some cash.
So when Carol Brodie was trying to launch her collection of high-end jewelry two years ago, she didn’t turn to trendy boutiques in LA or NYC. She headed to 24-hour home shopping network HSN. This proved to be a wise choice: HSN shoppers can’t seem to get enough of her jewelry. A month ago, a $3,000 pair of diamond earrings completely sold out in one display – even though they were exhibited at 3 a.m.
"I sell much more jewelry than I ever could have done going the traditional route," Brodie said.
Many of Brodie’s jewelry pieces feature semi-precious and precious stones and retail for well in excess of $1,000. But television shoppers are still ringing up for her goods.
HSN's executive vice president of programming, Bill Brand maintains "we are not about luxury," yet the company is trying to attract a number of high-end labels, especially since new CEO Mindy Grossman came on board five years ago and started to rebrand the network.
"Our transformation really began under the leadership of our CEO," Brand said. "She really understands that our customers want access to great brands and great products."
Since 2009, fashion designers Badgley Mischka and Iman and Naeem Khan, as well as home décor designers Colin Cowie, Jonathan Adler and Nate Berkus, have all eagerly signed to peddle their goods through HSN.
The addition of these luxury lines has catapulted shopping channels’ sales to the highest level since the start of the recession. In 2010, HSN scored $3 billion in revenue, a 2 percent hike from 2006. QVC channel, which has also added a bevy of well-known designers, brought in $7.8 billion last year, a gain of 11 percent from 2006. QVC was able to move 110 million items last year alone, including 25,000 copies of Rachel Zoe’s $70 fake fur vest during September’s New York Fashion Week.
In the last couple of years, "the world of better brands woke up," Doug Rose, QVC's senior vice president, said. "We can do very significant volume."
Plus, designers who appear on the channels have the opportunity to show their personal side. "You can't do that on a store shelf," Brand noted.
With financial figures like these, the attraction is obvious, even for designers who have a loyal following.
"We get a lot of calls from celebrities," Brand said. "All of a sudden, everyone wants to be at the party."