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Liberty Interactive To Become Qurate Retail Group

Name change reflects concentration on TV, online retail

Liberty Interactive, parent of home shopping networks HSN Inc. and QVC Group, said it will change its name to Qurate Retail Group to better reflect its retail-oriented assets.

Liberty Interactive said it will begin using the new name after it completes the spin off of Alaskan cable operator GCI and will formally make the name change at a later date.

Mike George, currently CEO of QVC, will become president and CEO of Qurate and Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei will become chair.

Qurate will consist of eight retail brands — QVC, HSN, Zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements. Globally, Qurate Retail Group will reach about 370 million homes worldwide via 16 television networks and multiple ecommerce sites, social pages, mobile apps, print catalogs, and in-store destinations.

See: QVC Culling HSN Execs

“Qurate Retail Group will be a new venture in more ways than just a change of name,” Maffei said in a statement. “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.”

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, which are currently wholly owned subsidiaries of Liberty Interactive, and several smaller investments.

The new name reflects Liberty Interactive’s role as a curator of “experiences, conversations, and communities for millions of highly discerning shoppers” George said in a statement, as well as large audiences across multiple platforms for vendors. “These strengths, which are all thanks to our team members, set Qurate Retail Group apart from other retailers.”

Each of the eight businesses of Qurate Retail Group will maintain its distinct consumer brand, logo and shopping experience in the new organization. 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 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.

The combined organization will serve 23 million customers worldwide and will have 27,000 team members in the U.S., the UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Poland and China. In 2017, Qurate generated pro-forma revenue of $14 billion.

“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.”

Qurate will include a New Ventures team, led by Zulily co-founder Darrell Cayens and focused on developing new retail concepts and looking beyond the organization’s current business for additional growth opportunities.