Jane Fonda, whose workout tapes galvanized a generation of women in the 1980s, is back in the fitness business with partner Evine Live Inc.
The Eden Prairie-based cable TV shopping channel and online e-commerce retailer said Wednesday it has signed an exclusive deal with the actress and fitness guru to develop a line of clothing, health and nutrition products and workout equipment for women over 50. Some items will be available starting this spring.
Fonda, who turns 81 in December, has been “heavily involved” in creating the new product line, an Evine spokeswoman said, and will appear throughout 2019 to promote the line using the company’s new studios in Los Angeles. Evine said it also will market the line to brick-and-mortar retailers but wasn’t ready to name them.
The announcement came as the company announced strained third-quarter earnings, which sent its stock plunging 37 percent to 66 cents.
Sales dropped more than 12 percent compared with the same period a year ago, which fueled a net loss of $9.2 million, or 14 cents a share. Last year, Evine reported a net loss of $1.1 million.
Chief Executive Bob Rosenblatt acknowledged that sales “were not where they needed to be,” but he said a shift in the introduction of the Serious Skincare brand put a drag on sales and affected sales of existing brands as well as productivity across all product categories.
“We had a very difficult quarter, which was disappointing given that we entered the third quarter with strong trends across multiple business drivers, and after delivering several consecutive quarters of solid performance,” he said in a statement.
Rosenblatt said several moves during the third quarter, such as opening the new studio and entry into direct-to-consumer third-party logistics services, move the company toward its goal of becoming a “leading interactive video and digital commerce company.”
For the fourth quarter, which includes the all-important holiday gift-giving season, Evine expects sales to range from $177 million to $187 million, compared with $192.7 million a year ago.
As for the partnership with Fonda, Rosenblatt described it as “a move toward the future.”
Fonda’s first exercise video hit stores in 1982 and became the highest-selling VHS of all time. She made 22 workout tapes in the 1980s and early ’90s, which collectively sold 17 million copies. In 2010 Fonda released two DVDs aimed at an older audience.
“I have a lifelong 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. “I am excited about partnering with Evine because their 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. We are, after all, the fastest growing demographic in the world.”
Fonda was issued warrants for 1.5 million common shares of Evine, which will vest based on milestones set in the contract.
Evine opened a product development division in Los Angeles on Oct. 1 to add exclusive brands. Nicole Ostoya, who leads the division, said in a statement that Fonda can relate to women of all ages and backgrounds as an “artist, expert and activist.”
“What has been most impressive is her dedication to domestic production and executing quality and sustainable practices,” Ostoya said. “These values align perfectly with what our customers have been asking for.”