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QVC

From Academic Kids

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QVC is a multinational corporation, specialising in television-based home shopping. Founded in 1986 by Joseph Segel, QVC broadcasts in four major countries to 141 million consumers. The name is an initialism—standing for "Quality, Value, Convenience"—the three pillars of Segel's vision for the company.

Contents

Corporate History

QVC was founded on June 13, 1986. The first live transmission took place on November 13 of that year. Initially running live for 16 hours a day, the channel extended its broadcast hours to 24 at the beginning of 1987. The corporation set a new record for first full-year fiscal sales for a new public company of $112 million.

In 1993, QVC, Inc. formed a deal with British Sky Broadcasting to create a UK version of the channel. QVC—The Shopping Channel first broadcast in the UK on October 1.

On February 2, 1995, Comcast purchased a majority shareholding in QVC, Inc., taking control of the corporation.

QVC's shopping network went online in September, 1996, when the company's interactive division, iQVC, launched QVC.com, allowing customers to purchase their items online via the Microsoft Network. QVC Germany launched in December of that year.

QVC was named "Official National Retailer for the 53rd Presidential Inaugural" in 1997, and US operations at Studio Park commenced on September 24.

July 3, 2003 saw Comcast sell its majority share to Liberty Media, setting the value of the company at $14 billion.

In March 2004, the integrity of the company was brought into question when the Federal Trade Commission charged QVC with making "deceptive claims" about weight loss products and the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the company.[1] (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/03/qvc.htm) At the same time, QVC Inc. bought out BSkyB, becoming sole shareholders in QVC UK.

Operations

All four QVC networks run 24 hours a day, although live programming hours vary between each region.

QVC US

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QVC host Christa Pitts selling clothing

QVC's US operations are based in the Studio Park complex in West Chester, Pennsylvania, which houses its corporate headquarters, studio and broadcasting facilities, and distribution warehouse. Call centre facilities are located in Chesapeake, Virginia, Port St. Lucie, Florida, and San Antonio, Texas. Additional distribution centres are situated in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Suffolk, Virginia and Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in order to ensure the fastest possible delivery of items.

QVC US also operates a series of retail stores across the country, including one at the Mall of America in Minnesota.

QVC broadcasts 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, to 85 million homes, and ranks as the number two television network in terms of revenue (#1 in home shopping networks), with sales in 2004 giving a net revenue of $4.1 billion.

QVC UK

The UK arm of the company operates from two venues in the United Kingdom. Corporate headquarters and broadcasting facilities are located at Marco Polo House, in London, while call centre and distribution facilities are situated in Kirkby, on Merseyside. Prior to 1998, these facilities were based at the Albert Dock in Liverpool.

QVC UK runs two small outlet stores, one in Warrington, the other in Shrewsbury.

QVC—The Shopping Channel broadcasts live 16 hours a day, 364 days a year, to 15.4 million viewers of cable, satellite, and digital terrestrial services in the UK. Satellite also relays the channel across much of mainland Europe. Retail sales for the year 2004 reached £265 million.

QVC Germany

QVC Deutschland GmbH, incorporated in Düsseldorf, runs call centre operations from two sites in Bochum and Kassel, whilst distribution is handled from a dedicated site in Hückelhoven.

QVC Germany broadcasts live 24 hours a day, 364 days a year (off-air Christmas Day), with 33.8 million households reached. In 2004, sales of $643 million were made.

QVC Japan

QVC Japan is based in Makuhari, where its corporate headquarters and call centre facility are located. Distribution facilities are located in Sakura City.

QVC Japan broadcasts live 24 hours a day (as of June, 2004—previously running for 15 hours—making it the first broadcaster in Japan to run a 24-hour live service), to 7.5 million homes, with $416 million sales in 2004.

Products

QVC carries a large range of products, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its items. Items are presented by hosts, who may be assisted by guests—typically, people who work for the item's manufacturer or an expert on the subject. Each item is identified by a unique item number, allowing for easy identification when ordering. In commonality with many of its rivals, QVC offers one product at a reduced price for that day only—the TSV or Today's Special Value. When a TSV sells out, there are several "One Time Only" items good only on certain shows the rest of the day.

QVC offers products from a wide variety of famous brands and well-known celebrities. Joan Rivers and Uri Geller are amongst those whose products are demonstrated on-air.

QVC's flagship brand is Diamonique, a simulated gemstone exclusive to the company (having acquired manufacturing facilities, proprietary technology, and trade name rights from MSB Industries, Inc. in 1988).


Competitors

With the continued growth and popularity of home shopping television, more and more companies are emerging to challenge QVC's position. In the United States, the Home Shopping Network is QVC's primary competitor, whilst QVC UK competes with several other channels, such as bid tv (and its sister channel price-drop tv), Ideal World, Screenshop, and others.

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