April 16, 2014, 3:00 PM

QVC says 'oui' to France

The TV and web retailer will bring its e-commerce and video programming to France in 2015. QVC already sells in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

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QVC, the largest e-commerce unit of Liberty Interactive Corp., is betting French consumers will find its unique blend of selling through the web and TV programming “magnifique.” QVC says it will expand its European presence with a locally produced and managed QVC for French consumers, starting in Q2 2015.

The company says its French content will be designed from the start to be easy to view on computers, smartphones and tablets, and that it will also market through French online social channels. It also will broadcast through major satellite and cable TV providers.

“France offers a strong opportunity for QVC,” says Mike George, president and CEO of QVC, Inc., citing the large numbers of French consumers who shop online and the country’s digital infrastructure. “We believe French customers will enjoy QVC's fresh content, premiere-branded products and award-winning, world-class customer service,” says Steve Hofmann, CEO of QVC Europe. QVC already sells online in Germany, France and, most recently, Italy, where it launched in 2010. QVC also has operations in Japan and, as of 2012, China.

The e-retailer is working with several national and local business development agencies to establish QVC’s operations near Paris. QVC says it expects to hire about 200 people in its first two years. “QVC's decision to locate its operations in the Paris region is testament to the fact that we are a growing center of excellence, specifically in the technology, broadcast and online fields,” says Sabine Enjalbert, managing director of the Paris Region Economic Development Agency. 87 of the 500 largest European web retailers are based in France, according to Internet Retailer’s Europe 500, which ranks the 500 leading European retailers by online sales. Only the United Kingdom has more Europe 500 retailers, with 162. 

QVC is No. 75 in Internet Retailer’s Europe 500, with Internet Retailer-estimated  European web sales of approximately $335 million. Liberty Interactive Corp. is No. 5 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, which ranks North American retailers by their web sales.

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