HSN Looks for New Shoppers Beyond TV’s Reach

HSN Inc., long a base for home shopping on TV, wants to refashion itself for shoppers more used to buying on their mobile phones.

The company still broadcasts live to more than 90 million households in the U.S., but also features more than 50,000 products on its website. Fifty-five percent of its business now comes from online sales, with almost half of that from mobile devices. But HSN, like its rival QVC, has been wrestling with sluggish sales recently for the same reasons as other retailers -- Amazon's dominance online, and a preference for experiences over stuff.

HSN's fourth-quarter results, released Wednesday, showed a 2 percent decline in revenue to $1.07 billion as profit fell 27 percent to $43.5 million. That beat Wall Street expectations, and the company's shares rose nearly 8 percent. But the stock had been down 17 percent in the last 12 months.

CEO Mindy Grossman said the goal is to keep testing while implementing new strategies. St. Petersburg, Florida-based HSN wants to draw more customers, particularly women in their 30s and 40s, while still satisfying its existing shoppers, whose average age is 57. It wants its mobile app to engage more with shoppers. It's also developing more exclusive products and looking at the "connected life" trend --" how technology can be used to improve someone's life.

"It is about broadening the reach for our brands and being able to accelerate that," said Grossman.

She believes shoppers will remain frugal for now because of uncertainty about new government policies under President Donald Trump's administration.

"There's no question that 2016 was challenging not just for us, but across pretty much the breadth of retail for the most part," she said. "In 2017, I think consumers may feel rational, but they're still not going to spend until they're truly confident about the future. What's at...

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