QVC doesn’t lack for an audience — it broadcasts to 98 million households — but the one thing it doesn’t have is a brick-and-mortar store, which meant the home-shopping giant was forced to stay home for last year’s Fashion’s Night Out extravaganza. This time around, QVC is intent on getting in on the action by opening a remote studio that will house its first-ever pop-up shop in New York’s Rockefeller Center.
That’s not to say QVC has been absent for fashion week. The company has actually been involved for five seasons, hosting events and broadcasting from Bryant Park. “We were very impressed last year with Fashion’s Night Out and what was accomplished,” says QVC president and chief executive officer Mike George. “It’s kind of the perfect manifestation of our brand. What we do well is take customers behind the scenes and bring some aspiration.”
The 14,000-square-foot space, located at 600 Fifth Avenue, two doors down from where the “Today” show is filmed, will be open Sept. 10 to 15, during which 17 hours of programming will be broadcast from New York. Throughout the week, QVC designers — including Isaac Mizrahi, Rachel Zoe and Lori Goldstein — will host segments, but the biggest event is the kickoff for Fashion’s Night Out. In the lineup is the store opening and party, as well as QVC’s “Fashion’s Night Out — Live From Rockefeller Center” broadcast, which begins at 9 p.m. and includes the launches of the K-Dash by Kardashians line, Janie Bryant Mod from the “Mad Men” costumer and Coralie Charriol’s handbag collection. The studio also will house a Dell- and Intel-sponsored lounge open to bloggers and other media covering the event. Meanwhile, “special guest correspondents,” none of whom were confirmed at press time, will be stationed throughout the city to report on the action for the network. Finally, pulling the late shift will be Mizrahi, who will go on at midnight to recap FNO from his New York studio, and, of course, sell his line.
“It’s a unique opportunity to expose QVC to more and more folks who have an outdated image of what QVC represents,” says George. “When they see the kind of programming, the shop and all the behind-the-scenes activities, it will broaden the relevance of our brand.”
As for the 6,000-square-foot store, Claire Watts, QVC’s president of U.S. commerce, describes it as a “curated assortment of our brands and offers,” including fashion, beauty, home and electronics. Since it’s connected to the studio space, there’s a chance shoppers will be able to watch the broadcasts live depending on space.