By  on August 24, 2012

HSN Inc., the retailer that’s been as close as the TV remote control since 1994, had the most unlucky of starts on Wall Street.

Barry Diller was looking to simplify IAC/InterActive Corp. in late 2007 and deemed HSN ready to “thrive as a ‘pure play’ retailer.’” But when IAC spun off the home-shopping business, as well as Ticketmaster and LendingTree, that following August, few guessed the market was just weeks away from financial crisis.

Shares of HSN started out at $11 and within months slumped as low as $1.40 as investors sought to find their footing.

It turns out that Diller was right — HSN was ready to thrive.

The company used the flexibility of its business model, which is devoid of the shelf space brick-and-mortar retailers need to constantly fill, and pivoted to what suddenly stay-at-home consumers wanted: more gear for cooking, not as much apparel or jewelry.


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