“It’s a step up for Home Shopping Club,” Hayman said. “I told them we didn’t want to be sandwiched in between polyester and cubic zirconia.”
IF THE INTERACTIVE SHOE FITS: If Virginia Shakour, director of new business development of The Women’s Specialty Retailing Group of U.S. Shoe Corp. has her way, the company will be a major player in the interactive home shopping game.
So far, U.S. Shoe’s August Max Woman and Petite Sophisticate divisions have sold merchandise on QVC, which Shakour considers a learning experience.
“We’re no different than any other retailer. You can’t make money [on QVC],” Shakour said, adding that QVC has other benefits. “It’s a great way to get your brand exposed and test its viability for home shopping. To date, it’s been the only game in town.
“Everyone has to be looking at the next step and we would like to be part of it,” Shakour said, referring to interactivity.
Shakour plans to participate in a test with Interaxx, a Miami company that developed CD-ROM technology operated by a hand-held remote control. The test will take place in about 2,000 homes in Coral Springs, Fla.
“Interaxx was available and interested in finding retailers to play with,” said Shakour. “We’re trying to put our brands somewhere.”
MALL DWELLERS: Rick Korn, vice president of special marketing for Home Shopping Network, said the company has signed a contract with Hanover Direct for The Shopping Mall, a channel to be launched this fall. Hanover Direct, HSN’s first tenant for the mall, will sell products from its Domestications, Tweeds, Gumps, Safety Zone and Essence catalogs, Korn said.
HSN is now negotiating with 20 retailers, but Korn declined to say who they are before contracts are signed.