Byline: SHARON EDELSON
NEW YORK -- On Q burst onto the home shopping scene in March, looking like a slightly unkempt child, with its garish lighting and rough planks for runways.
Now, the new QVC service that is geared to a young adult audience is trying to polish its image without losing its youthful edge.
"We're learning a little bit about product and a lot about format," said Caryn Lerner, vice president of On Q.
On Q is not for the customer who cherishes classics. The On Q viewer wants a hot new outfit to wear on Saturday night and another for the following weekend.
"Product that has sold well has been more current and trend-driven," Lerner said. "Basics haven't done a lot."
She said sheer silver blouses and Adidas leggings with racing stripes were hot sellers.
Studio A, the West Chester, Pa., facility where On Q shoots live two days a week, just underwent a $1 million-plus renovation, according to Lerner. By August, On Q will be on the air three full days.
The new set features big columns that, with paint, can be made to look like wood or marble. They can also be draped or covered with fabric.
While the new set is more sophisticated, Lerner said, "There are times where raw and younger is more appropriate. Our strength will be our versatility."
On Q sometimes tries to re-create a designer's showroom. For Cynthia Rowley's show, wrought iron was incorporated into the set because it appears in her New York showroom. Vivienne Tam's set had a marble background with a luxurious red velvet seating area.
Lerner said it showed off the colors of Tam's collection -- mainly white and black -- to maximum effect.
In addition to the visual evolution, Lerner is changing the channel's pacing.
A new product is introduced every two to three minutes. Lerner wants to accelerate that pace even more.
"I'm going to try to separate the sell from the entertainment and informational piece," Lerner said. "The sell just gives the information that the viewer needs to make the purchase. That will go down from 3 1/2 minutes to 90 seconds. Then we will devote specific amounts of time to the editorial and soft sell.
"We believe we need to show the product more frequently than QVC does," Lerner said. "An item may run Monday morning, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night. We do it because people watch at different times. Also, we've so accelerated the time in which the product is on air, we want to put it on again if by chance we were too fast."