CEO Interview: Mindy Grossman of HSN

Will the Consumer Come Through? Mindy GrossmanCEO, HSN Clearly, our business is driven by the consumer. So our industry’s biggest [...]

November 1 2010 by Dale Buss

Will the Consumer Come Through?

Mindy Grossman

Clearly, our business is driven by the consumer. So our industry’s biggest concern is, where is the consumer’s mindset, and their desire to spend or not spend? In an environment that is very uncertain—whether economically, or about jobs, or about politics—anything that is going to impede consumers from having a positive mental outlook or being able to spend is going to affect our business.

Consumers in general have become much more discerning. We know that our success is going to come from gaining share of wallet, because the spending ceiling over consumers isn’t going to go up significantly. We have seen some of the more luxury-segment business come back— but is that sustainable?

Our ability both to have a healthy retail environment and to help the economy will be about jobs. That’s critical and needs to be addressed. The other thing, which also goes back to the political arena, is that there still are a number of uncertainties around what will happen to health care and taxes. So people are looking to see what’s going to affect them in the next one, two or three years.

We’re positioned well in this environment, especially if things overall swing back. But it’s going to be a cautious consumer environment. I don’t think the economy is going to go backward next year, but it will be only a cautious move forward.

HSN Inc., headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., is a $3 billion, interactive multi-channel retailer and parent of HSN (formerly Home Shopping Network) and Cornerstone Brands.