Evine Live Inc. is reinforcing its e-commerce operations with the financial and marketing support of retail heavyweights Tommy Hilfiger and Morris Goldfarb plus music executive Tommy Mottola.
The TV and web merchant recently announced that it was selling $10 million of common stock at $1.68 per share to investors Hilfiger, Mottola and Goldfarb. In addition, Hilfiger and Mottola are now advisers for Evine, formerly known as Shop HQ. Evine is No. 115 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide with $318.6 million in 2015 online sales.
Hilfiger is founder and principal designer of his namesake brand. Goldfarb is CEO of G-III Apparel Group Ltd., which owns brands such as Calvin Klein and Cole Haan, and it most recently acquired Donna Karan and DKNY. Mottola use to be CEO and chairman of Sony Music Entertainment, where he is credited with signing Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.
Doing business with the three moguls gives Evine access to their brands and contacts to help expand Evine’s audience, reinvigorate its current audience and ultimately increase sales, Evine CEO Bob Rosenblatt says. For example, Hilfiger could give Evine backstage access to a runway show that the retailer could stream live on TV and its website.
“What this does is give us access to many of the people who have been in the pop culture world for many years,” Rosenblatt says. “This allows us to broaden our audience and to be able to have access to personalities and different brands that these gentleman know.”
Besides the executives’ expertise, the investment could allow Evine to sell the brands on its site, and possibly offer exclusive collections, Rosenblatt says. Because the investment is recent, it likely will take three to six months for all the details to be worked out, he says.
“I think it’s significantly going to impact sales in a positive way,” Rosenblatt says about the investment.
Rosenblatt knows Hilfiger from his time as president and chief operating officer of the Hilfiger brand. Rosenblatt also recently hired several other executives with whom he has worked in the past, such Michael Henry, Evine’s chief merchandising officer, who worked with Rosenblatt at HSN Inc. (No. 25); and Sunil Verma, Evine’s first chief digital officer, who worked with Rosenblatt at Ideeli.com (now owned by Groupon Inc. Groupon Goods is No. 26 in the Top 500). He also hired Nicole Ostoya as chief marketing officer in April.
These executive changes followed an April 2015 shakeup that came soon after a corporate and e-commerce site rebranding. While it has been a turbulent time for the company, it is now positioned to surge ahead, Rosenblatt says.
“We know enough to be dangerous here, and we’re passionate enough to make this company a force in e-commerce and TV shopping,” Rosenblatt says.