Tuesday, May 26, 2009

QVC Loses its Sparkle

QVC loves to flash a little bling-bling. In fact, it's how they built their multi-billion dollar empire. But with the economy swirling the drain and gold prices continuing to skyrocket, home shopping customers are losing interest in shiny objects.

The Q is now focusing more on "practical" items like electronics, kitchen gadgets, and food (although I for one don't think that a $50 cheesecake is practical). Just think back to this past Memorial Day weekend. Save for the Black Hills Gold show last night, there was nary a sparkle to be found. I think every time I flipped onto QVC they were presenting that flat garden hose or a food item of some sort.

The problem--other than Queen Bea being bored out of her gourd--is that jewelry has a much higher profit margin than these other categories. Sales focused on non-jewelry categories and lower price points resulted in QVC's first quarter earnings dropping 18% from last year.

The trend against jewelry isn't just affecting QVC. The demand for gold is at a 20-year low and all jewelry retailers are suffering. When you just lost your job or you aren't sure that you'll still have a job in a month, buying a new bauble simply isn't the priority.

Even Jewelry Television (JTV)--a channel focused solely on jewelry and gems--is getting in on the act. JTV recently rolled out a new gemstone-infused skincare line called DermaGem. I can only assume that they are looking to find new non-jewelry products to help carry them through the slump.

On the flip side, that ginormous 25-carat apple quartz ring pictured at the top of the page is the Today's Special at HSN ... maybe there is hope. The sheer audacity of that ring makes me smile. Home shopping without bling is like eating cereal with no milk. Yuck.


  1. Welcome back Queen Bea! It's good to see you've put your crown on again.

  2. We just might see a whole rash of new product types on the shopping networks, items which do not include as much eye candy and more practical stuff at good prices. That might be the only way they'll survive. People these days are becoming different kinds of shoppers. No more pop decisions about buying. No more "I gotta have it in all seven colors"

  3. i personally am happy about the decrease in jewelry on qvc. i stick to buying things i actually need or gifts etc. i rarely wear/give jewelry and get really irritated when they have entire DAYS devoted to jewelry. its like, enough already! most of it is fake anyway. waste of money imho.

  4. I've said this in another comment so forgive me for any redundancy....QVC will give you several hours with Suze Orman, who preaches the mantra of "don't buy what you don't need" (and who only owns one set of earrings....that's it), and then will go into three straight hours of jewelery shows.

    This ties in nicely with the "men and shopping theme" as well, with the need of QVC, HSN, and ShopNBC to expand on their old base of customers and sell items friendly to both genders, and that are practical.

  5. Now, now, Renee ... we don't make fun of fake diamonds on this blog! :-P

    While I appreciate the effort to promote new categories of products, I can't help but miss all the sparkle. It's like the lights going out on the Las Vegas strip. I simply enjoy looking at flashy baubles. It's shallow and pointless, but I can't help myself.

    And if you're going to sell things like garden hoses, at least have the decency to have the Cottage Farms guy on with his shirt three sizes too small. Is that too much to ask???

  6. You nailed the Cottage Farms guy. I wish I could wear shirts that tight, but I'd probably end up looking like the Hulk when he gets mad. I love QVC and this site and I'm a straight guy. Something about live TV is so interesting. My wife thinks I'm crazy.

  7. I love jewelry shows too, whether i buy anything or not. You can get home improvement products at Home Depot & housewares everywhere else but i love the jewelry shows coming right into my home. When i do go out shopping, i get what is on my list & don't have time to browse jewelry counters for fun & jewelry shows are like window shopping.

  8. What attracted me to QVC in the first place was the beautiful
    jewelry-and there are plenty of nice silver items if gold is too
    expensive. I wear jewelry each and everyday-and am a very
    frugal person in general-so don't buy what I can't afford.
    I love the bling!

  9. I haven't purchased any jewelry from QVC in years. HSN and SNBC just have a more adventurous selection. And better sales! I swear QVC still has jewelry that I saw when I starting shopping with them in 1990. --Q.C.

  10. Queenie:
    The drop in profits is a reflection of the economy not the QVC profit margin differences between a garden hose or a bauble - they maintain the same base mark up throughout and ratchet it up the price through subsequent sales. So while in the real world of retail that would make sense, nothing makes sense in the QVC model unless you are inside of it as a seller - which we are.

  11. Domier is dissing all the clad, plated, and clad items that they have been selling us for years. Telling us to now buy bonded crap. I purchased 9 of the gold rolo bracelets and they were all bad! QVC was taking care of it at first, even though I had to charge each bracelet, and now they are telling me screw off! Offering NO replacement won't pull item!!

  12. No wonder QVC is losing to SHOPNBC!! The more you buy the more they treat you like dirt, so backwards. They are selling damaged items and their solution is send back, charge another, or take the loss. SHAME ON QVC!!!!!! Where is the Quality Assurance? Buyer Beware!!!!!!

  13. This sparkle are amusing and beautiful art and so nice gold sparkle thanks

  14. I dropped a quick 2,500 at QVC/ GOLD RUSH Sale . Then I got smarted and went on to ebay to grab myself a deal. When I go visit my friend the jeweler in the city we walk next door to the pawnshop and see if they got anything that we love many times they have fantastic prices and my friend sometimes will redesign the piece for me which is an amazing artistic endeavor and of course a sweet deal. My best buy story is my wedding ring a 1.90 carat diamond which has to be new from Costco with a 10% mark up which my husband was thrilled to pay. I receive tons of compliments on my ring.

  15. I wonder why every time I try to visit your web page I get redirected to some blank page...? Is there something wrong with blogspot servers? I don't think so, but I can't explain this!

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If your forbidden love is home shopping and you love all the latest dirt, then come on in ... Queen Bea is holding court!

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