Canada's The Shopping Channel Rebrands Amid Digital Makeover


TORONTO – The Shopping Channel, Canada's version of QVC, has set its digital makeover in motion.

And it is being executed by an American retail merchandising veteran keen to fend off local retail giants like Amazon, Wal Mart and Target with a traditional TV channel.

"If you want merchandise, [viewers] will have to tune in Friday night, because even though [Isaac Mizrahi] plans to be here the next day, a lot of his stuff will sell out quickly," TSC president Steven Goldsmith said. 

Mizrahi, the iconic fashion designer, is unveiling a new lifestyle clothing line on the Canadian home shopping channel this weekend while also in town for the Toronto International Film Festival.

His appearance comes as Goldsmith unveiled on Friday a rebranding for the Canadian TV shopping channel just nine months into his new job.

Goldsmith has brought north to Canada two decades of senior executive stints at U.S. department store chains like Lord & Taylor, The Bon-Ton and Filene’s.

The decision by TSC parent Rogers Media to hire Goldsmith also followed his online retail experience at Victoria’s Secret and Amazon.com, and growing the e-commerce divisions at SmartBargains.com and ShopNBC.

Goldsmith, on taking over TSC, found the Canadian TV shopping channel was profitable and popular with women north of the border.

It just wasn't giving shoppers options to experience the TV shopping channel across multiple digital platforms, and to buy via online, mobile, tablet and social media apps.

And that was missing as the Internet and mobile commerce account for an increasing share of revenue for Canadian retailers battling new American competition.

"We didn't have shopping apps. We did not have a great mobile experience. We did not have a great experience on a computer for her to watch us live," Goldsmith recalled.

So he's transformed the digital shopping experience for TSC.

As a multimedia retailer, the TV channel now has new mobile apps, onscreen social media engagement and more celebrity guest appearances by the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Joan Rivers and designers like Carol Brodie and R.J. Graziano. TSC is looking to use its biggest stars to hawk their wares on TV to distinguish itself from retailing rivals.

"What differentiates TSC from other Canadian retailers is our unique ability to demonstrate the features and benefits of each and every product we sell," Goldsmith explained.

Why did Joan Rivers put a lining in her jackets? The Fashion Police host, a mainstay of the Canadian TV shopping channel, will tell her audience via their TV sets.

The changes for TSC come as it continues as a top 10 online retailer north of the border.

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