September 12, 2012 / 10:05 PM / 5 years ago

HSN shopping for deals in $50 million-$250 million range

NEW YORK (Reuters) - HSN Inc HSNI.O is on the hunt for more acquisitions to build up its stable of mail order catalog and e-commerce businesses, the television and Internet-based retailer’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

HSN, which bought children’s clothing e-retailer Chasing Fireflies in April, is looking for more e-commerce deals in the $50 million to $250 million range, HSN Chief Executive Mindy Grossman told the Reuters Retail and Consumer Summit.

“We are looking at a number of things,” Grossman said.

On top of businesses like Chasing Fireflies, whose growth HSN expects to quicken as it is now part of a larger company, HSN is considering acquisitions in the social media area, and those that would allow it to expand into the world of computer gaming.

While HSN is best known for the cable channel on which it sells everything from handbags to dresses to luxury knife sets. The retailer has also won new, younger shoppers through its HSN Arcade gaming site, launched last year.

HSN is in the process of repositioning its Cornerstone unit, as its group of catalog and online retail businesses is known. That division, which HSN bought in 2005, sold off its unprofitable Smith+Noble and The Territory Ahead brands, soon after buying Chasing Fireflies, for an undisclosed sum.

Cornerstone accounts for just over 30 percent of company sales. But last quarter, its sales grew far more quickly than at HSN’s namesake businesses.

Cornerstone offers mostly home and outdoor furnishings and casual and leisure clothing, with most of that produced exclusively for Cornerstone. Its brands include high-end home products company Frontgate and apparel seller Garnet Hill.

Grossman, who has been CEO since 2006, said she would only consider buying companies that would be easy to integrate and not be a distraction.

“You really want to be judicious about what you do,” Grossman said. “It has to be a cultural fit.”

Follow Reuters Summits on Twitter @Reuters_Summits

Reporting by Phil Wahba, Jessica Wohl and Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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