QVC-The Shopping Channel, a joint venture with British Sky Broadcasting, launched in the U.K. last fall, is on schedule to achieve first-year sales of about 40 million pounds ($60 million).
QVC has identified joint ventures as the best way to expand into the three largest countries in Continental Europe. It is in talks with several potential partners, but the spokeswoman declined to name them.
The company has already reached an agreement with the Dutch cable television association to transmit to the Netherlands and expects to launch in Norway next month. It will launch in Denmark in June or July and in Belgium and Sweden by the end of the year.
ROM ON THE RISE: When Ken Koppel turns on his computer with a CD-ROM drive and loads his Contentware disc, he is able to enter the worlds of many retailers and catalogers. Background music sets the tone, and scenes play in full motion video. Garments are shown in different colors. Orders will be placed by telephone.
Koppel signed his first cataloger, Norm Thompson, which will present outerwear from its Early Winters division.
Patrick Adkisson, operations and business development manager of Nordstrom, said the retailer is considering putting its merchandise on the disc. And Judith Hitchcock, Koppel’s wife, has meetings lined up with executives of Saks Fifth Avenue and Brooks Bros.
Contentware’s investor’s include Cox Enterprises in Atlanta and Applied Technology, a venture capital firm in Lexington, Mass.
Koppel plans to distribute 400,000 copies of the disc in August by bundling it with mail-order PC software.
MTV’S PAUSE: Television home shopping is an industry built on hope and hype. Sometimes both get the better of new projects. Take the test of Time Warner’s interactive Full Service Cable Network in Orlando, Fla., which was scheduled to begin this spring. It is now slated for launch by the end of the year. The reason for the delay was refinements in the set-top boxes.
MTV Networks announced that it would begin testing home shopping in April on MTV, VH-I and Nickelodeon. A spokeswoman said the tests will now begin in the summer. The company says it is on target to launch in June and has been showing sample concepts to focus groups.
BEAR BULLISH ON TV SHOPPING: Bear Stearns has just released a report on television home shopping which predicts the industry’s growth in three to five years will be anywhere from $2.3 billion to $10 billion. But that’s nothing compared with interactive home shopping, which the report predicts will be a $100 to $150 billion industry in 10 years, completely usurping the $70 billion catalog industry.
After being plagued with difficulties last year including a failed merger attempt by QVC, Bear Stearns sees Home Shopping Network coming back strong. The report said HSN is looking for a senior merchant who would be responsible for upgrading the overall merchandising program. In addition, HSN will use its back office infrastructure to establish new shopping venues aimed at target audiences, such as Black Entertainment Television or the Nashville Network.
Q2’S NEW CREW: Q2 continues its raid on Barneys New York. Last fall, Q2 hired Patrick Gates, a former Barneys vice president, as divisional merchandise manager. On Monday, Lisa Sansone was named buyer for Q2 women’s and intimate apparel. She was an associate buyer for women’s apparel for Barneys. Also, Melissa Starin was named buyer for health and beauty. She was associate cosmetics buyer for Barneys. Tammy McNamara was named accessories and jewelry buyer. She was the designer shoe buyer for Barneys.