TV shopping/catalog merchant HSN reported a loss of $2.15 billion for fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008. For the same period last year, the company recorded net income of $73.1 million.
Sales at the HSN home shopping channel fell 4%, to $545.9 million. Sales in the Cornerstone catalog/Internet segment, includes the Frontgate, Ballard Designs, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, Smith+Noble, The Territory Ahead, TravelSmith and Improvements catalogs, sank 25%, to $232.6 million, for the quarter, primarily due to diminished consumer demand for home furnishings and apparel. For the full year, Cornerstone’s sales decreased 15%, to $866.7 million, from $1.0 billion in 2007.
To cut costs during the quarter, the company eliminated 250 positions, renegotiated its print, paper and freight contracts, and made sweeping reductions in travel expenses, outside fees and other costs.
For the year, HSN reported a loss of $2.4 billion. Consolidated sales of $2.8 billion fell 3% from the prior year. The HSN division increased annual sales by 3%, to $1.96 billion, while Cornerstone sales fell 15%, to $867 million. Annual catalog circulation dropped 19%, from nearly $401 million to $324 million.