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HSN and the Power of the TV Shopper

How catering to middle-aged women put the network on top.

Will Vragovic / Racked

At some point or another, you’ve stumbled upon HSN, the 24-hour television network in 96 million homes that’s always selling something. Maybe you changed the channel after a brief glance, or maybe you got sucked in for a little bit longer, but you probably didn’t stay long enough to actually buy something.

But a lot of other people have. Last year, HSN (once called the Home Shopping Network, now known simply by its initials) sold $2.5 billion worth of merchandise — one steamer, one blender, one treadmill at a time. The 33-year-old company knows what sells and, more importantly, who it’s selling to. You’d be hard-pressed to find another company more loyal to, or obsessed with, its customer.

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