New Channel: iMedia Brands Sales Up 18%
iMedia Brands Inc. is the parent company of home shopping network ShopHQ.

New Channel: iMedia Brands Sales Up 18%

Acquisition of Christopher & Banks giving company a boost.

Eden Prairie-based home shopping channel iMedia Brands Inc. has long been written off as a company just scraping by along the margins. It has been the third-place player in its industry for as long as anyone can remember and has been through a head-spinning array of name changes.

But iMedia now seems to be gaining some traction. On Tuesday the company reported that its first-quarter sales were up 18 percent compared to a year ago – its best showing in eight years. iMedia also reported that its number of “active customers” is up 14 percent. The company offered full-year guidance saying that it expects revenue of “at least $490 million,” which would be an increase of 8 percent compared to 2020.

What exactly is going on behind the iMedia cameras?

“Q1 was another strong performance for us,” said Tim Peterman, CEO of iMedia Brands, in a statement. “And when we combine our strong operating fundamentals with the recently announced growth catalysts like Christopher & Banks and ShopHQ’s launch in 20+ million high-definition homes in June, iMedia is positioned well for a strong 2021.”

Locally based national women’s apparel retailer Christopher & Banks Corp. filed for bankruptcy in January, hammered by the pandemic. Nearly all of its stores have been shuttered.

But in March, iMedia emerged as a surprise buyer for Christopher & Banks out of bankruptcy court. iMedia launched a weekly Christopher & Banks television show.

“We know the Christopher & Banks fashions and customer demographics well because they are the same as our ShopHQ fashions and customer demographics,” said Tim Peterman, CEO of iMedia Brands, in a statement at the time.

Just last week, iMedia announced striking a deal with New York-based RNN National Media Group, billed as the “nation’s largest independent broadcast group,” that will make its ShopHQ channel available in high-definition in more than 20 million homes.

iMedia is set to launch its high-definition offering on June 28 in nine large markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington D.C., Houston, Boston and Honolulu.

iMedia Brands still saw a net loss of $3.2 million for its first quarter which ended on May 1. But that was a narrower loss than the $6.8 million net loss it saw in the first quarter of 2020.

Twin Cities Business previously took note of encouraging signs for iMedia’s business earlier this year.