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HSN Inc. increases net income, sales during Q4 and fiscal 2013

BY Dan Berthiaume

St. Petersburg, Fla. – HSN Inc. reported gains in net income and sales during the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, compared to the same periods a year earlier. During the quarter, HSN Inc.’s adjusted net income increased 7% to $59.9 million from $56 million, while net sales increased 4% to $1.02 billion from $982.9 million.

For the full fiscal year, HSN Inc. reported adjusted net income of $173 million, up 15% from $153 million, and net sales of $3.4 billion, a 4% increase from $3.26 billion. Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN Inc., credited strong digital and mobile sales growth for much of the company’s financial performance.

"Throughout 2013, we successfully managed the company to position us for long-term growth,” said Grossman. “We kept our focus on the customer, emphasized our unique content and proprietary products, strengthened our digital platform, further leveraged opportunities and synergies across the HSN and Cornerstone brands and returned value to our shareholders by delivering nearly $200 million through share repurchases and cash dividends. During the fourth quarter, we achieved 4% sales growth and a digital sales increase of 8%, including mobile growth of 59%.”

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Severe weather doesn’t faze Conn’s in fourth quarter

BY CSA STAFF

Severe weather in the fourth quarter did not prevent Conn’s from reaching its sales objectives, but increases in wholesale television prices affected electronics sales.

“Net purchase prices for consumers increased significantly for many of our key television models and same store sales trends in electronics are below fourth-quarter fiscal 2014 levels. While our sales outlook for other product categories remains positive, we have revised our fiscal 2015 guidance to include lower expected sales rates in electronics,” said chairman and CEO Theodore M. Wright.

Still, on a year-over-year basis, Conn’s net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were an estimated $301.6 million, increasing 44.8% from the same period last year.

Net sales represent total product sales, repair service agreement commissions and service revenues. Same store sales rose an estimated 33.4% over the comparable prior-year period. In addition, Conn’s expects to open 15 to 20 new HomePlus stores in fiscal 2015.

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Many brands lack effective response to social complaints

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – More than 50% of brands don’t have a strategy in place to manage responses to social media complaints from customers. Results of a recent survey conducted by Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) shows that 58.2% of brands receive customer complaints via social media “occasionally,” 10.9% receive them “somewhat often” and 4.9% receive them “very often.”

In total, almost 75% of brands receive social media complaints. In addition, survey results show:

• 26.1% of brands’ reputations have been tarnished as a result of negative social media posts; 15.2 percent lost customers and 11.4% lost revenue.

• 23.4% of brands not only do not have a strategy in place to manage negative social commentary, but do not have plans to develop one. 24.5% of brands are in the process of developing a strategy and 7.6% have strategies in place that are currently proving to be ineffective.

“So many brands are buying into the ‘friending equals spending’ mentality,” said John Souza, founder of Social Media Marketing University. “They want the benefits of social media but aren’t truly aware of the investment of effort that’s required to see a return. As a result, this lack of effort rarely produces desired results and can lead to alienation of customers, fans and followers. It can even escalate to a backlash of negativity.”

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