By Jennifer Ford
- ShopHQ CEO banks on exceeding $200M in annual revenue with Shaq deal
- NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal adds home shopping network to his list of successful business interests
Former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal has entered the home shopping network arena, and like all of his business ventures, he has dominated. In fact, the 48-year-old is giving new life to ShopHQ, owned by iMedia Brands (IMBI -2.36%), with his show “Learning to Cook with Shaq.” Since the show’s debut in March 2020, the network has seen its highest ratings in 10 months, making it an immediate success and on track to profitability. Can he help iMedia brands bring back the home shopping TV market to the forefront of retail?
Why This Matters: Even though both TV and retail businesses have been hurting, it seems as though the hybrid version of these sectors is doing well. IMedia Brands is heavily relying on ShopHQ’s network show with Shaq to boost viewers and sales to become a centerpiece for a new golden age in home shopping, thanks to his combined nearly 32.5 million Twitter (TWTR 3.53%) and Instagram followers. Along the road to profitability Tim Peterman, the CEO of the struggling network, decided to restructure the organization with the addition of Shaq’s show.
Since the show’s debut in March 2020, the network has seen its highest ratings in 10 months
“We estimate the financial opportunity here is meaningful. From an annual revenue perspective, on just our television retailing platforms, we expect Shaq to become our largest brand,” Peterman said in the earnings call in 2019, adding, “We believe we could exceed $200 million in annual revenues rather quickly.”
Unfortunately, problems have plagued the company for many years, including several confusing name changes. Additionally, at the beginning of the year iMedia Brands had a strict deadline to meet for its stock. The company’s shares needed to trade above $1 by January 14, 2020, to avoid being delisted by the NASDAQ.
Situational Awareness: Consumers continue to engage in live shopping experiences during the pandemic. The success of “Learning to Cook with Shaq” is not an anomaly. Qurate Retail, which owns both QVC and HSN, reported a 10% increase in viewership since late March, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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