Liberty Interactive, whose businesses include QVC and HSN, announced that it will begin using the Qurate name once it completes the spit-off of GCI Liberty (formerly General Communication Inc.), the Alaskan telecommunications company it acquired last year.
The company also announced that Mike George, currently CEO of QVC, will become president and CEO of Qurate Retail Group. Greg Maffei, currently president/CEO of Liberty Interactive, will become chairman.
Qurate (pronounced “curate”) will comprise eight retail brands — QVC, HSN, Zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements — each focused around shopping in modes outside the parameters of traditional ecommerce or brick-and-mortar stores.
“Qurate Retail Group will be a new venture in more ways than just a change of name,” Maffei said in a statement. “We will be a select group of like-minded businesses that provide customers with curated collections of unique products, made personal and relevant by the power of storytelling, combining the best of retail, media and social.”
In 2017, the Qurate Retail Group businesses generated pro-forma revenue of $14 billion. The combined organization will have 27,000 employees in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Poland and China.
The company claims it’s the biggest “video commerce” player in the world, reaching 370 million homes worldwide via 16 television networks and multiple ecommerce sites, social channels, mobile apps, print catalogs, and in-store destinations.
As part of the new focus, Qurate has formed a new ventures team, focused on developing new retail concepts and expansion opportunities, led by Zulily co-founder Darrell Cavens.
Qurate Retail Group will trade under new ticker symbols “QRTEA” and “QRTEB” on the NASDAQ and will include the businesses and assets currently attributed to QVC Group tracking stock (NASDAQ: QVCA, QVCB), including QVC, HSN (which includes Cornerstone Brands), and Zulily, which are currently wholly owned subsidiaries of Liberty Interactive, along with several smaller investments.
Last year, Liberty Interactive merged QVC and HSN (in which it already held a 38% stake) in a stock deal valued at $2.1 billion. In October 2015, Liberty Interactive closed the $2.4 billion acquisition of ecommerce company Zulily.
Watch a sizzle reel announced the Qurate Retail Group: