In a decision that may just make Amazon quiver in fear, home-shopping giant QVC is acquiring its major competitor, HSN, creating a super shopping conglomerate that's out to take on the dominance of online shopping.
"The addition of HSN will enhance QVC's position as the leading global video e-commerce retailer," Liberty Interactive CEO Greg Maffei wrote in a statement. He went on to say that the networks "produce over 55,000 hours of shoppable video content" every year.
For the past two decades, the networks have been battling it out for the same shoppers both on-air and online. By bringing it all together, QVC hopes to be able to take on the competition, namely, Walmart and Amazon.
QVC's CEO, Mike George, explained that after the acquisition of HSN, QVC Group — which is what the new company will be called — can boast the title of third-largest e-commerce site, trailing behind the aforementioned giants. George pointed out the fact that QVC was actually an early adopter of e-commerce, with 45% of its total U.S. sales coming from online shoppers. After the merger, QVC Group will have a global reach of 23 million viewers.
QVC also hopes to pick up some of the customers that are being left behind in the wake of Sears and JCPenny locations shuttering and focusing on a slightly more mature demographic than online outposts are targeting. Something must be clicking: In 2016, QVC and its global networks raked in $8.6 billion worth of sales.
It's not just shoppers that should be getting excited about the merger. CNBC says that having the two networks together creates a huge platform for entrepreneurs hoping to get their products out to the masses.
"For folks just starting out with an entrepreneurial idea to have access to this combined HSN-QVC platform, the opportunities are extraordinary," George said.
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