A partnership between Eden Prairie-based home shopping channel Evine Live and fitness guru and actress Jane Fonda hasn’t worked out as planned.
The collaboration, which was centered on an exclusive line of fitness clothes for women over 50 that was set to debut last week, was called off after Evine shuttered its Los Angeles office in May, the Star Tribune reports.
Evine CEO Tim Peterman told the newspaper that the office didn’t fit with his own strategy of “fit and focus” because brands might be distributed to retailers before appearing on Evine Live, and closing it is part of an effort to improve the company’s finances.
He said that decision led to the falling out with Fonda.
“Since the LA office is no longer, I believe Jane’s going to go on with her ambition around clothing,” Peterman said. “She’s just not going to do it with us.”
He wouldn’t tell the Strib what the loss of the partnership might cost the company, and representatives for Fonda declined to comment on the situation.
The partnership with Fonda was first announced last November. The line was slated to include activewear, health and nutrition items, fitness equipment, and athleisure products.
“I have a life-long passion for fitness and health not just because I look better when I take care of myself but because it makes me feel better and think better,” said Fonda in a statement at the time. “[Evine’s] strong marketing platform will allow me to bring my fitness knowledge and creative ideas to a market that is lacking strong offerings for women over 50.”
Fonda’s line was to be the first brand to debut under the LA-based product development division Evine Live launched earlier last year, and Fonda was going to appear on the program to promote her products and share her expertise.
Per the partnership, Fonda was also granted warrants for 1.5 million stock shares, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, with the option to purchase 500,000 shares at $1.05 per share and 1 million shares at $3 per share.
However, shares have been trading below $1 since late November, and Evine’s had no shortage of other troubles.
For example, sales in fiscal-year 2018 were down 8 percent year over year, and multiple leadership shakeups have occurred in the past few months. Anne Martin-Vachon resigned as president in January after a tenure of only four months, and Peterman—who previously served as COO and CFO—returned to the company in May to serve as CEO in place of Bob Rosenblatt.
Evine did receive a $6 million investment—from Invicta Watch Group—at the time of Peterman’s appointment, but less than a month later, Peterman announced significant cutbacks and changes would be made in the wake of a poor first quarter 2019 performance.
Plans include rebranding from Evine to ShopHQ, rebranding Evine Too to Shop Bulldog to focus on men’s merchandise and services, launching a Spanish language television brand called LaVenta, and most notably, eliminating $15 million in annual overhead costs.
This cost cutting involved, in part, the axing of 11 senior executive roles, and as it turns out, the closure of the LA office, though the latter was not explicitly disclosed in the quarterly earnings report.
Furthermore, moving forward, Peterman said Evine will shift its focus away from fashion and more toward beauty, jewelry, and health products, as it looks to turn things around from a $21 million net loss in the first quarter.