July 23, 2008, 12:00 AM

E-commerce figures heavily into HSN’s growth

As multi-channel retailer HSN moves closer to spinning off from parent IAC/InterActive, the home and apparel merchant has plans to increase its e-commerce revenue. The web accounted for about 33% of 2007 sales.

IAC/InterActive Corp. is getting closer to spinning off HSN and several other businesses. In the process, details of HSN’s growth strategies are coming to light. The TV retailer and direct marketer has plans to increase its e-commerce revenue, which accounted for about 33% of 2007 revenue. HSN is No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide

“We are focusing on e-commerce and leveraging the unique content we can create across multiple platforms,” said Mindy Grossman, CEO of IAC Retailing, during a recent conference call introducing the new HSN. The TV retailer and direct marketer is continuing with its plan to drive more business to the web and TV and decrease dependence on catalogs. HSN’s TV shopping programs reach more than 90 million homes and HSN mails about 400 million catalogs annually. The web accounted for $987.4 million of 2007 sales, up by 24.7% compared with about $792 million in 2006.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2008, HSN revenue was about $1.9 billion and the web made up 28%, or $532 million. E-commerce sales grew 24% compared to the prior year quarter. IAC did not break out HSN’s e-commerce sales for Q1 2007.

Further e-commerce growth strategies include a new web platform, Internet-exclusive product offerings, advertising designed to drive consumers to HSN.com and taking advantage of search engine optimization tools.

Announced in late 2007, the HSN spin-off company will include the primary businesses currently comprising IAC’s Retailing segment, including HSN TV, HSN.com and the Cornerstone Brands Inc. catalogs, web sites and retail locations. Those include housewares and home furnishings direct marketer Ballard Designs and window treatment web and catalog merchant Smith+Noble.

The HSN spinoff is expected to conclude this month.

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