QVC launches interactive shopping channel

QVC, the television shopping channel, is launching interactive retailing services to compete with Open, the venture jointly owned by BSkyB and British Telecom.

QVC, the television shopping channel, is launching interactive

retailing services to compete with Open, the venture jointly owned by

BSkyB and British Telecom.



The shopping channel will enable viewers to order any product seen on

QVC via their digital set-top boxes without using a telephone.



As part of the new service, the channel is also launching a QVC

Directory, available to consumers from next February. The directory is

an interactive catalogue ordering service offering a wide product

range.



Orders can be placed using the Sky Digital handset, and viewers will be

able to watch TV programmes and order goods simultaneously. The new

service aims to reach groups who are not regular internet users,

including pensioners and housewives. The QVC channel carries no

advertising.



Mark Suckle, chief executive of QVC, said: ’We are launching the QVC

directory in Britain because more than half of British homes have

Teletext, which means people are used to using their remotes. Britain is

also leading the way in digital TV distribution. The digital era is

turning the set-top box into a store front.’



The QVC channel is majority owned by US company Comcast and operates in

the UK, America and Germany. The channel is available to 7.2 million

cable, analogue and digital satellite homes in the UK and also has an

interactive website.



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