Home-Shopping Pioneer Spearheads New Network to Extend Fashion "Drops" via Mobile TV
"In theory, if we do it right, we will become the 'drop' destination in New York so that other brands won’t have to necessarily create their own pop-up shops," said former QVC, HSN exec Mark Bozek of Live Rocket New York, which will also include a "retail studio" and theater.
With Live Rocket New York, home-shopping pioneer Mark Bozek says he is creating the world’s first retail destination/TV studio that will duplicate the frenzy of product “drops” — the fashion nirvana of recent years for everybody from streetwear brands Supreme and Kith to high rollers like Louis Vuitton and Dior — for an audience tuned in on their mobile devices instead of just lined up around the block.
“I still believe very much in live television, as it relates to content, and certainly as it relates to commerce,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But the way Millennials and Gen Z people watch television is not on the big screen in their living room but mostly on their phones.”
Goods for sale on the network would be exclusive and not available anywhere else or ever discounted, Bozek adds. “We have had no lack of different brands and designers and manufacturers who want to be a part of this because they are all looking for unique ways to present their merchandise,” he says. “In theory, if we do it right, we will become the 'drop' destination in New York so that other brands won’t have to necessarily create their own pop-up shops.”
Targeted for next year for a still-to-be confirmed location in downtown Manhattan, the street-facing “retail studio” will include a 150-seat multipurpose theater that could host fashion shows, film screenings and appearances and podcasts with celebrities, designers, musicians, artists and social media influencers.
“We’re going to create a network that’s really based out of a store, so half of the network (programming) will be continuously selling in various unique ways in the Live Rocket studio so we’ll make our revenue out of the products we sell,” Bozek explains. “And the other half will be on-brand content relating to fashion, to advertising, to pop culture, that will be supported by advertisers. It’s being presented in a much more unique way than what TV shopping is known as and who shops from it.”
Bozek, a former executive at Fox TV and QVC, and ex-CEO of HSN, is credited with creating over $1 billion worth of exclusive brands over the years. For the LRNY television network, Bozek envisions initially reaching 20 million U.S. homes via broadcast YouTube and Roku with exclusive merchandise that will also be available in-store, via mobile, app and online.
“The same thing that works with people who drop products on Instagram or in pop-up shops is the notion of impulse presentation that you have to be involved with right then and there or you miss out on it,” he says. “In the retail studio, we can do these live 'drops' for people who want to experience it in person, but we’re re-creating it. If you can’t be in New York, if you’re in California or any place in the world, you can still be involved by watching the event and certainly buying the product.”
Though Bozek wants to tap into well-known brands, celebrities and influencers, he’s also intrigued by the notion of bringing new discoveries to prominence. Among his previous successes from the '80s and '90s are the $100-million businesses built with future television retail stars such as Wolfgang Puck and Joy Mangano. (Insiders know Bozek as the real-life counterpart to Bradley Cooper’s character Neil Walker in the movie Joy, the “friend in commerce” to Jennifer Lawrence in David O. Russell’s 2015 film.)
“There’s no shortage of people that want to do this with us because of what I used to do but also because we’re at this tipping point where the launching of brands can be done in unique kinds of ways that we haven’t even discovered ourselves," Bozek says. "And part of the excitement is that this home base in New York can be the launchpad.”