QVC

QVC,  Inc. is a television and  Internet retailer  with 1,150  products on offer each week.  Merchandise categories include fashion, beauty, home furnishings, electronics, and toys and gifts. It is one of the largest multimedia retailers  in the world, with net sales of $7.4 billion  in 2007.

QVC  (Quality, Value,  Convenience) was  founded in  1986  by  Joseph  Segel. A graduate of the Wharton Business School, Segel is also noted for founding the Franklin Mint  and  for serving  on  the  United Nations General Assembly  under Henry  Kissinger.  Inspired by the Home Shopping Network, he raised $20 million in capital  and  entered a two-year contract to sell products for Sears. On  November  24, 1986,  he  launched QVC  television, broadcast in over  7 million  homes. Segel’s  concept for QVC  was based  on  the  idea  of informing the  viewer about a product, rather than pressing a customer to buy. To  this  day, QVC  programming  is characterized by lengthy  descriptions of the  products presented, usually accompanied by demonstrations of function, rather than the  lightning-fast timeframe of a traditional commercial. While  traditional commercials rely on the impulsiveness of the  customer, QVC  strives  to sell the  product based  on  merit and  informed choice. Celebrity  endorsements and  personal testimonials are also common sales methods, and they too provide  an opportunity for in-depth coverage of the product.

In  1996,  QVC  launched an  Internet retailer, iQVC,  which  in  2001  became www.qvc.com. Internet sales in 2007  totaled over $1 billion,  and  sales continue to  increase as www.qvc.com receives  over  5 million  visitors  each  month in the United States alone. QVC’s international footprint is also large, with international broadcasting centers in Germany, Japan,  and  the  United Kingdom. Its television programming reaches 160  million  homes worldwide, and  to date  it boasts  over 50  million  customers. To  further enhance its television programming, in April 2008  QVC  launched QVCHD, tapping into  the  ever-growing market of high definition television viewers.

Of the 1,150 products on offer each week, over 250 are brand new and exclusive to the QVC customer. Hundreds of brands sell through QVC, and many  count a large portion of their  sales through QVC. Brand  leaders  include philosophy, Dell, and  Bare Escentuals. It has  launched numerous cosmetics lines  throughout its history, including the  record-breaking debut of celebrity  makeup artist  Bobbi Brown in 2007, in which  her products completely sold out in 45 minutes. To accommodate a diversified  market, QVC’s  television programming is divided  into various  different shows  catering to  different products. Some,  such  as the  QVC Fashion Channel, are devoted to specific  products, like fashion, accessories, and beauty  products. Others, like the  QVC  Morning Show,  combine shopping with news and weather in collaboration with USA Today.

Throughout its  history, QVC  has  placed  a high  value  on  philanthropy and made a commitment to giving back. Its employees and customers have raised millions  of dollars  for various  charities, including the  American Red Cross  and  the National Women’s Cancer Research Alliance.

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