Networking: Superhighway to Britain … The Trials of Nordstrom … Hogan’s Hero …
SUPERHIGHWAY TO BRITAIN: British Telecom PLC, the U.K.'s dominant telecommunications operator, plans to launch a video-on-demand trial in October that will include home shopping. The trial, which will be conducted in...
SUPERHIGHWAY TO BRITAIN: British Telecom PLC, the U.K.'s dominant telecommunications operator, plans to launch a video-on-demand trial in October that will include home shopping. The trial, which will be conducted in 2,500 homes in eastern England, follows an initial experiment in 70 employees' homes.
BT currently is talking with potential retailers for the home shopping service. These reportedly include Next PLC, a women's and men's wear retailer; Mothercare, a children's wear chain; HMV, a music retailer, and Olympus, a sporting goods chain. BT declined to comment.
Consumers could call up a menu of participating stores on their TV sets and then select video clips of products from one of the stores.
THE TRIALS OF NORDSTROM: Nordstrom continues to explore interactive shopping.
The company is participating in two interactive trials, one with Bell Atlantic and another with U.S. West.
"We're in the process of creating the content for U.S. West," said Patrick Adkisson, operations and business development manager of Nordstrom. "U.S. West is on our catalog shoot right now in Aspen, getting video while we're shooting our fall book.
"Both trials will be in their infancy this fall so we'll have an idea of what it takes to create content," Adkisson said. Nordstrom is also negotiating with Multi-Image Network of Chico, Calif., which provides low-cost, direct-response advertising on cable TV. The retailer would like to use Multi-Image as a regional tool to sell cosmetics in the Chicago market. "We're also looking at doing our own CD-ROM instead of paying someone else to do it for us," Adkisson said. "We got the idea that maybe we can do our own."
HOGAN'S HERO: Home Shopping Network is looking for a chief operating officer -- one with a merchandising and retail background, according to sources at the company.
HSN has been without a chief operating officer for 15 months.
A search firm is said to be looking for candidates within the retail industry. Gerald Hogan, president and chief executive, reportedly hopes to reach a decision by the end of the summer. He declined comment.ACTION JACKSON: Victoria Jackson, the makeup artist who bared her beauty flaws, then showed viewers how to correct them, is preparing to shoot her fourth infomercial. In an industry where only one in 10 infomercials succeed, her longevity is remarkable.
According to Jackson, her company has sold about $150 million worth of cosmetics since 1989.
Her new infomercial will feature Ali MacGraw and Lisa Hartman, who appeared in previous efforts. Jackson hopes to hire a third celebrity before shooting begins in November.
That's not all Jackson is up to. She is developing for syndication a 30-minute daytime talk show that focuses on health and beauty topics.
And she's thinking about a selling venue that's even more direct than television -- hiring representatives to sell her cosmetics door-to-door, as Avon does.
COMPUSERVE: Starting in July, Compuserve, the on-line computer service, will offer bimonthly CD-ROMs via subscription. The CD-ROMs will contain a smattering of all Compuserve's offerings, including shopping.
"We're definitely trying to strike a balance with apparel, computer products and gifts," said Keith Arnold, manager of Compuserve's electronic mall group. "We want to have things especially for women."
So far, Sara Lee's L'eggs and Hanes divisions will participate, Arnold said, with Hanes selling Silk Reflections, its department store line of pantyhose.
Asked what the advantage is of shopping by CD-ROM versus shopping with an on-line service, Arnold said subscribers can view photos, see brief full motion video sequences of movies and listen to snippets of albums.
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)