No, home shopping isn’t dead, and the market’s two biggest players — and rivals — just made a deal that’ll inevitably shake things up as online shopping evolves.
On Thursday, QVC and the Home Shopping Network announced that they’ve agreed to merge. QVC parent company Liberty Interactive Corp. will purchase 62 percent of HSN in an all-stock arrangement valued at $2.1 billion. Liberty Interactive already owns 38 percent of HSN and says HSN shareholders will get 1.65 shares of QVC’s Series A stock for each share of HSN. Wednesday’s closing price values each share of HSN at $40.36, which represents a 29 percent premium for HSN shareholders.
QVC president and CEO Mike George says a lot will come out of the transaction for both companies and for the consumer. Both networks together already produce over 55,000 hours of shoppable video content. Combined they’ll become a leader in “discovery-based shopping.” George said in a statement. They’ll also “enhance the customer experience” and “accelerate innovation” by leveraging “resources and talents to further strengthen” their brands.
And according to George, HSN founded the industry four decades ago with initiatives like Shop By Remote, which still allows consumers to browse products, read customer product reviews, and make a purchase all from a TV remote 24/7. The deal makes the combined company North America’s third largest mobile and eCommerce retailer behind Amazon and Wal-Mart, boasting an annual revenue of about $14 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports [paywall].
The merged company will also include e-commerce site Zulily, which QVC purchased in 2015 for $2.4 billion and HSN’s Cornerstone arm, comprised of home and apparel lifestyle brands like Ballard Design, Frontgate, and Garnet Hill.
In recent years, QVC, headquartered in West Chester, Pa., has laid off hundreds of employees as it shifted jobs around the country and even abroad in an attempt to modernize and further position itself as global business.
HSN’s headquarters will remain in St. Petersburg, Florida and will be overseen by George. The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2017.
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