John Malone’s Liberty Interactive holding company is adopting a new name: Qurate Retail Group. Liberty Interactive, which owns businesses including home shopping powerhouses QVC and HSN. Liberty Interactive announced on March 1st that it will begin using the Qurate name once it completes the spit-off of GCI Liberty, Inc. (formerly General Communication, Inc.), and will formally implement this name change at a later date.
The company also announced that Mike George, currently CEO of QVC, Inc., will become President and CEO of Qurate Retail Group. Greg Maffei, who currently holds that position, will become Chairman. With the introduction of Qurate, the company will move its chief executive’s base from Colorado to QVC Studio Park in West Chester, PA.
Qurate, with $14 billion a year in sales, includes newly-acquired home-shopping channel HSN, its larger rival QVC, Seattle-based Zulily mobile and online retailing, and other shopping businesses assembled by billionaire media investor Malone.
Qurate Retail Group will comprise eight leading retail brands— QVC, HSN, zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements—all dedicated to providing a ‘third way to shop,’ beyond transactional e-commerce or traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
According to the press release, Qurate Retail Group will be #1 worldwide (among multi-categor retailers) in video commerce, reaching approximately 370 million homes globally via 16 television networks and multiple eecommerce sites, social pages, mobile apps, print catalogs, and in-store destinations. Qurate will be #3 in ecommerce in North America and #3 in mobile commerce in the U.S.
“Qurate Retail Group will be a new venture in more ways than just a change of name,” said Maffei. “We will be a select group of like-minded businesses that provide customers with curated collections of unique products, made personal and relevant by the power of storytelling, combining the best of retail, media and social.”
As part of this rebrand, Qurate Retail Group will launch a new logo and a new corporate tagline: “Curated Experiences. Infinite Possibilities.”
“Our new logo and name reflect our unmatched expertise in curation, which goes far beyond product,” said Mike George. “We will be the unrivaled leaders in curating experiences, conversations, and communities for millions of highly discerning shoppers—bringing joy, inspiration and humanity to shopping. In addition, we will curate large audiences, across multiple platforms, for our thousands of brand vendors. These strengths, which are all thanks to our team members, set Qurate Retail Group apart from other retailers.”
The rebrand will be the culmination of a multi-year evolution for QVC Group. Each of the eight businesses of Qurate Retail Group will maintain its distinct consumer brand, logo and shopping experience in the new organization. (Qurate keeps the Q from QVC and sounds like “curate.”)
HSN was the original TV shopping channel, followed by QVC. The two brands defined live video commerce, while each leveraged its video expertise to expand into ecommerce, mobile commerce and social commerce. Meanwhile, zulily launched and grew its unique, highly personalized ecommerce platform, and the Cornerstone Brands introduced and expanded their interactive lifestyle brands. In October 2015, Liberty Interactive acquired zulily, and in December 2017, Liberty Interactive acquired full ownership of HSN, Inc., which included the Cornerstone Brands.
As Qurate Retail Group, the combined organization will serve 23 million customers worldwide and will have 27,000 team members in the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Poland and China. In 2017, Qurate Retail Group generated pro-forma revenue of $14 billion. Liberty Interactive Chairman John C. Malone will continue to own a majority of the voting shares of the rebranded company.
“We are creating a unique organization, with the scale to drive extraordinary innovation in the retail space,” George said. “With our highly innovative teams working together across brands, we will be able to offer an expanding array of engaging, content-rich shopping experiences, featuring world-class and entrepreneurial brands, supported with outstanding customer service.”
To accelerate innovation, Qurate Retail Group includes a New Ventures team, focused on developing inventive retail concepts and looking beyond the organization’s current business for additional growth opportunities. This team is led by Darrell Cavens, the co-founder of zulily.
Qurate Retail Group will trade under new tickers (NASDAQ: QRTEA, QRTEB) and will include the businesses and assets currently attributed to QVC Group tracking stock (NASDAQ: QVCA, QVCB), including QVC, Inc., HSN, Inc. (which includes Cornerstone Brands), and zulily, LLC, which are currently wholly owned subsidiaries of Liberty Interactive, and several smaller investments.
Liberty has already launched a Qurate Retail Group website, as well as the @QurateRetailGrp corporate handle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.