When Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer of HSN, was asked to describe the retail environment this year, she replied, “boundary-less.”
That sums up her strategy as she tackles the new retail paradigm. In a world quickly being taken over by e-, m- and F-commerce, HSN has successfully forged its own digital path. HSN is the only retailer offering live-streaming video in HD on three screens: TV, online and mobile. HSN broadcasts live to 96 million households in the U.S., and HSN.com is among the 10 most trafficked e-commerce sites, accounting for more than 30 percent of HSN’s $3 billion in total revenues. There’s an HSN app for iPad, iPhone, Android and HSN on Demand.
This story first appeared in the December 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Hardly a week goes by that Grossman doesn’t sign up a celebrity, top designer, brand or movie. In recent seasons, HSN has added lines from Badgley Mischka, Carlos Falchi, Sam Edelman, Vince Camuto, Rebecca Moses, Naeem Khan, Adam Lippes, Iman, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Mary J. Blige.
Even Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of MTV’s “The Jersey Shore” got into the act after the highly successful Queen Latifah launch in August. Last month, “Snooki” introduced her namesake perfume on HSN, and unveiled slippers, handbags and sunglasses for holiday.
In September, HSN presented an exclusive line inspired by the film “Footloose,” with footwear, fashion and beauty from firms such as Levi’s Curve ID, Steve Madden, DKNYC, Twiggy London and Benefit Cosmetics. This summer, HSN launched a multiplatform shopping event celebrating American fashion, beauty, home decor and southern-style cooking inspired by the movie “The Help.” It featured such brands as CR by Cynthia Rowley, Lela Rose for HSN, Chef Martha Hall Foose and Viking appliances.
When Grossman arrived at HSN five years ago, it was stuck in the shadow of its key rival, QVC, and suffered from a lack of focus and uninspired merchandise. Her sweeping changes transformed HSN into a more modern shopping destination.
Stefani Greenfield, chief creative officer of The Jones Group Inc., who has worked with Grossman at HSN on two collections, “Scoop Style” and “Curations With Stefani Greenfield,” called Grossman “an extraordinary leader, humbly brilliant, an amazing motivator and a visionary. She not only built a company, but she built a culture….Years ago, when people would hear you were going on HSN, they would say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ Now, it’s, ‘Can you introduce me to Mindy Grossman?’”