RealTime IT News

Shop Around the Clock

ValueVision Media's ShopNBC, the nation's third largest home shopping operation, struck an e-commerce deal with America Online that includes a provision to become one of the first retail participants in the newly expanded "AOL Deal of the Day."

ValueVision said ShopNBC merchandise also will be promoted through Shop@AOL in the jewelry, watches and computers categories.

AOL Time Warner's AOL will be promoted as ShopNBC's preferred Internet service provider on certain computers marketed through ShopNBC sales channels, including the ShopNBC Web site, telephone call centers and cable television computer shows.

ShopNBC also will host "The AOL Shopping Hour" which will let AOL merchants increase their marketing and distribution to more than 52 million homes that subscribe to cable or satellite TV services.

Financial arrangements were not disclosed, but ValueVision, trading higher than Amazon.com at about $22 a share, is making some of the right moves as the company reported sales for its first fiscal quarter ending April 30 2002 were a record $132.8 million, up 19 percent year-over-year. ShopNBC.com sales were a record $22.7 million, a 72 percent increase.

On the bottom-line the company posted first quarter net income of $539,000, or 1 cent per share, compared with a loss of $5.4 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier.

The company said it expects second quarter 2002 consolidated net sales to be in the range of $128 million to $133 million, with earnings near break-even.

Also today, NBC Enterprises and NBC Daytime announced a strategic marketing, commerce and entertainment alliance that will result in opportunities for product placement on "Days of Our Lives" and "Passions" and a new series on ShopNBC entitled "Soap Style."

Debuting in mid-July, "Soap Style" will give viewers the opportunity to purchase select merchandise that has adorned the NBC Daytime stars and sets.

"We are beginning to better leverage the strategic advantage of being a commerce channel within the NBC family," said Gene McCaffery, ValueVision Media Chairman and CEO.

"We continue to partner with NBC on a number of broadcast and online commerce initiatives, such as commerce enabling NBC owned and operated stations throughout the country as well as upcoming strategic and comprehensive partnerships with NBC Enterprises, NBC Daytime programming, and commerce initiatives with Telemundo," McCaffery said.

NBC signed a hosting and fulfillment deal with ShopNBC last October.

GE Equity and NBC own about 40 percent of ValueVision, which competes with QVC and Home Shopping Network. As the nation's third largest and fastest growing shopping network, ShopNBC is broadcast 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is simulcast live on the Web at ShopNBC.com and on Yahoo! ShoppingVision.