With our twenty-fifth birthday just days away, I thought I would conclude my series of look-back blogs with a timeline of key moments in QVC UK’s history. But first, a reminder that you still have time to enter my mega giveaway competition on last week’s blog by following this link and leaving your answer in a comment there. Remember, you must leave your answer in last week’s blog’s comment section, otherwise your entry can’t be considered. It’s a HUGE prize – so huge that I struggled to fit all the beauty products into the two Amanda Holden Bundleberry trunks as photographed by my QVC roomie, Katy Pullinger! I know there have been lots of entries, but somebody has to win and you never know, it could be you!
So, as I’m sure you’re aware by now, we launched at 2pm on October 1st 1993 to a possible audience of 2.7 million homes, although I seriously doubt that anything like that number actually tuned in! We broadcast live for six hours that first day, but it rapidly increased to eight hours, then ten until we were broadcasting live for seventeen hours a day. That has now decreased to sixteen hours a day on the main channel (9am – 1am) but as from next Monday, we will be increasing our live broadcasts on our Style channel – more on that later.
On the same date in 1998, we launched our website qvcuk.com so it will be the website’s 20th birthday on Monday. Was it really that long ago? It doesn’t seem possible. We also launched on Sky Digital that year.
In 2002, we launched on Freeview and between 2003 and 2011, we launched and began the evolution of the interactive shopping service we all take for granted today. August 2007 marked a bit of a milestone as we received our 100 millionth order in the UK!!
In 2010, responding to the popularity of our huge range of beauty brands, we launched the QVC Beauty Channel and in February 2011, we launched the iPhone app. That’s almost eight years ago – I wonder if you’ve ‘tapped the app’ yet?
Following the digital TV switch-over in 2012, our potential audience grew to over 26 million homes and we currently have an active customer base of over a million people. It’s an incredible story and I feel so blessed to have been part of it from day one!
Throughout the look-backs, I have focused mainly on my memories and things that have gone on on the television side of QVC, but of course there is a huge support network in terms of our call centre and warehouse based in Knowsley. Last year, for the fifth consecutive year, we were named as one of the top 50 companies in the UK for customer service. We won the best multi-channel award, 1st overall for social media in retail, 2nd for customer experience on calls for retail and 3rd best company overall.
Not only that, but for the fourth year running, QVC has been recognised by the Top Employers Institute as one of the top 71 employers in the UK. Exceptionally high standards in employee conditions and performance. Talent management, compensation, benefits packages and culture were the criteria – no wonder I have stayed so long!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of blogs and will join us on air to celebrate our 25th birthday, when everything will be on three EasyPays if you fancy indulging. I’ll be with you between 1pm and 3pm and we’ll be announcing the winner of my competition prize live on air at 2pm – I’ll also put it on next week’s blog. I am hoping for birthday cake – just saying!
3pm is my finish time on QVC on Monday, but it is the start time for our enhanced QVC Style live broadcasting. We will be live everyday (including weekends) from 3 – 7pm, for those of you who love your QVC fashion.
Off the telly I’ve had quite a busy week, although I was forced to take it easy for a couple of days after having my tooth out last Saturday. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t feel a thing during the extraction despite the top of the tooth breaking off so each of the three roots had to be removed individually. It has been a bit sore and throbby since, but that’s only to be expected. My forced inactivity has meant that I have been able to finish the re-working of my latest novel, working title ‘Cassie Come Home’, and I’m delighted with the result. I’ll keep you posted on developments!
I’ve also had a paintbrush in hand again as we work to get everything ready for the wooden flooring to be laid, hopefully next week, and we had to go and select tiles and fixtures for our downstairs loo/shower room. I will be so pleased to see the back of all the workmen… in the nicest possible way, of course.
I’ll have to dash in a moment as I am on air earlier than expected at 3pm with Northern Nights bedding, followed by Catwalk on Friday at 5pm with Glen Campbell, which I am looking forward to immensely, and Princess Grace jewellery at 6pm.
Tomorrow, once again, we have the brilliant Dyson AM09 Hot & Cool Quiet Bladeless Fan as a TSV. Truly, I don’t know what I would do without mine, particularly on these cooler mornings that develop into beautiful sunny autumn days that make you feel guilty putting the heating on. Katy and I have one in our dressing room and I have two at home – one in my writing room for the days I’m tied to my computer for eight hours at a stretch. It’s on 4 EasyPays and it’s free P&P, so it’s the perfect time to buy.
It’s also the final day of the Decleor mini series which hopefully you have already been enjoying.
Then on Sunday, do join me for the Fragrance Hall at 3pm. As well as some of your favourites, there is a new brand called Connock, which I have been trialing – absolutely gorgeous (as Mally would say)! I also have Skechers and the Knitwear Collection, the latter once again guested by Glen Campbell.
I hope the weather stays nice and that you have an enjoyable weekend and do remember to tune in for our birthday on Monday with a great TSV offer from Benefit.