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LIVE FROM THE HOUSEWARES SHOW, IT'S QVC.

CHICAGO-Electronic retailer QVC hit the airwaves from the International Housewares Show here last week, marking the first time the trade show has been brought live to a television audience.

A special edition of In The Kitchen With Bob -- QVC's top-rated program -- offered viewers over 30 kitchenware products directly from the show floor for four hours on Jan. 16. The cablecast was the result of an agreement between QVC and The National Housewares Manufacturers Association (NHMA), the show's sponsor.

Bill O'Donnell, vice president, merchandising and home fashions, told HFN that the event provided QVC's audience an opportunity to purchase new kitchenware products that have not yet reached the shelves of many major retailers.

"Sales exceeded our expectations. We sold multiple millions of dollars [worth of products].

"Since it was the first time, we wanted to focus on a specific category," said O'Donnell. Hence, items for sale included QVC's private-label Cook's Essential Electronic pressure cooker and the Pyrex Glass Storage Deluxe nine-piece set.

Kitchenware has been a rising star at QVC, racking up 10 percent of the retailer's $2.8 billion business, said O'Donnell. Buoyed by a sharp focus on expanding its array of national brands while playing up private-label goods, QVC estimates the kitchenware category grew 30 percent in 1999.

"Our strategy is to bring upmarket products [not usually associated with an electronic retailer] into the mix," said O'Donnell. "We want to be the destination for home products."
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Comment:LIVE FROM THE HOUSEWARES SHOW, IT'S QVC.
Author:Thau, Barbara
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 24, 2000
Words:237
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