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The retailer's revenue declined 11% year over year in Q4, or just 4% when now-shuttered Zulily is discounted from the comparison.

Qurate Retail, Inc. reported that revenue declined 11% to $3.14 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. The retailer reported an operating loss of $103 million in the quarter, compared with operating income of $42 million in Q4 2022.

For the full year, revenue declined 10% to $10.92 billion. However, operating income was a bright spot for 2023. It increased to $590 million, from a loss of $2.04 billion in 2022. 

“2023 was a transformational year for Qurate Retail. We executed better on multiple fronts including merchandising, pricing strategy and inventory management, and these efforts yielded significant, positive results in the operational health and financial performance of the business,” said David Rawlinson, President and CEO of Qurate Retail.

Qurate ranks No. 18 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s database of the largest North American e-retailers by online sales. Digital Commerce 360 categorizes Qurate as a Mass Merchant in its Top 1000 database.

Qurate sells Zulily

Qurate sold Zulily to private equity firm Regent and Baker for an undisclosed amount in May 2023. The company had acquired Zulily in 2015 for $2.4 billion. 

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With Zulily sales removed from year-over-year comparisons, Qurate’s financial situation looks more promising. Q4 revenue declined 4%, excluding Zulily’s 2022 sales. However, with the online apparel retailer’s 2022 sales included, Qurate shows an 11% decline for the same period. Similarly, 2023 revenue declined only 5%, rather than 10%, if Zulily is excluded. 

Qurate’s operating income for 2023 was $647 million, excluding Zulily’s loss of $57 million.

“We increased free cash flow generation, reduced substantial debt and optimized our portfolio with the divestiture of Zulily,” Rawlinson said.

Zulily shuttered in December 2023 following layoffs and “financial instability,” it said.  It is now in search of buyers for its remaining assets, including a web domain, customer data, and fulfillment centers.

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QxH results

Qurate operates QVC and HSN, and it reports their combined results as QxH. In the fourth quarter, QxH revenue declined 4% to $2.16 billion. Revenue declined 5% to $7.00 billion for the full year.

“Revenue declined in both periods primarily due to lower units shipped, which decreased 5% in the fourth quarter and 6% in the full year, as well as lower shipping and handling revenue and higher returns,” the retailer said in a statement. QxH also had fewer inventory liquidation sales in Q4, leading to a decrease in sales. That was partially offset by a 3% increase in average selling price both in Q4 and the full 2023 year.

QxH apparel and jewelry sales grew year over year in Q4. Meanwhile, sales in the electronics and home categories declined. Electronics alone were responsible for 64% of quarterly sales decline, QVC said. That was due to industry-wide challenges, along with QVC’s decision to focus on higher-margin categories, chief financial officer Bill Wafford said.

QxH sales declined across all categories for the year. 

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Qurate earnings

For its fiscal fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2023, Qurate reported:

  • Revenue declined 11% year over year to $3.14 billion.
  • QxH revenue declined 4% to $2.16 billion.
  • Operating loss was $103 million, down from $42 million in operating income in the year-ago period.

For its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2023, Qurate reported:

  • Revenue declined 10% to $10.92 billion.
  • Operate incoming reached $590 million, from a $2.04 billion operating loss in 2022.

Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding. Check back for more earnings reports

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