Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pennsylvania Road Trip - QVC Studio Tour

Following our morning experiences at the Herr's Snack Factory Tour in Nottingham, Pennsylvania, and at the Eldreth Pottery Factory in Oxford, Pennsylvania, we headed to West Chester to visit the famous QVC Studios.  We purchased our $7.50/adult tour tickets and waited in the lobby until our tour guide called for us.

A massive QVC box hangs over the entrance to the studios.
We were encouraged to use the time prior to our tour to browse in the Studio Store, which features authentic QVC logo merchandise and an ever-changing selection of on-air and seasonal merchandise, frequently including the Today's Special Value items.

Entrance to the Studio Store
We moseyed around in the store for a bit.  I found myself surprised that it was fairly small.  The method of shopping in there is to look at the sample items and then fill out a card with the name and item number of the thing you want to purchase.  A clerk then goes back into the warehouse area and retrieves that item for you.  Never in my life have I made a QVC television purchase, and the only thing I bought there in the store was a post card.

The kitchen section of the Studio Store
As our tour had not yet been called, we returned to the lobby and watched the television screens showing the current live broadcasting.  At that moment they were selling some sort of bronze jewelry, of which samples were displayed in the lobby, and which all the employees seemed to stop and examine on their way in to work.

The current broadcasting
Finally our tour guide gathered us together, and wired us up with headphones and a sound pack, so that we'd be able to hear her comfortably throughout the tour.  After a sound check, we were taken through an airport like security check and then led up the stairs into the studio area.

First we learned that QVC stands for Quality, Value, and Convenience.  Not one person in our group knew that before this tour.

Into the production studios
Through 25 featured stops along the QVC Studio Tour, our very knowledgable guide informed us all about QVC's beginnings, successes and growth into a $3.5 billion television retailer.  A television wall showed live QVC broadcasts going on all around the world in other QVC studios.  Folks, I thought internet shopping was the way of the future, but maybe I'm wrong.  This is a seriously big shopping business, right here.  I had no clue.

QVC broadcasts happening live in other countries
Throughout the hallways of the building are located life sized cutouts of each of the QVC celebrity hosts.  Here is a view of some of them as we began walking toward the filming areas:

If you look down the hallway in that last photo, you will see walls of windows.  Those windows overlook the studios where the live filming is taking place.  We could look to our heart's content, but no photos were allowed in any of the windowed areas.  Other windows looked right into the tech rooms where we watched the folks controlling any screen graphics, music, and scheduling.

Tour participants can watch the live broadcast from five studio views, where monitors feature state-of-the art, pullback cameras in eight different locations within the studio.

We saw the model on the stage adjusting her bosoms in her dress top, fixing the position of her jewelry, and scratching her nose during short breaks while the cameras were pointed elsewhere filming the celebrity host.  At one location we were taken out through soundproofed doors onto a viewing platform right over the filming area.  We were instructed to be very, very quiet, as we were literally just several feet above the filming.  I could feel the heat from the overhead lights, and I prayed that I wouldn't have one of those ridiculous sneezes that sneaks up on you, or that my husband wouldn't burp or fart in those moments. 

Our daughter Sarah and her hubby Lance are avid QVC watchers, although they never buy anything.  Weird, huh?  Who just watches QVC for fun?  They do.

Well, for their sake I was hoping the David in the Kitchen feature would be happening, but alas, it wasn't.  In fact, the kitchen segment of the tv studio was completely dark.  The designers were staging the living/bedroom area for the filming of a Tim Gunn special later in that evening.

So, Sarah and Lance, these next three photos are the best I could do for you.  And no, I did not see David walking around the halls, either.  Sorry.   Silly groupies.

My husband is 6'2".  David is a big guy.

Our hour plus tour was very informative and shocking, when we realized how much volume of all kinds of stuff is sold through QVC television sales.  I suppose I could even be persuaded to watch a QVC show, now that I've seen the full inside story.

That is, if I hadn't just cancelled my television subscription several months ago.


  1. My wife watches it and has purchased stuff from them. She got her first lap-top from them. It is shown on channel 137 here on Dish TV. HSN tries to compete but I believe QVC it the best. Because my wife watches QVC, I see it, too.

  2. Antenna TV only at our house so I definitely don't watch it. I am not a shopper so no loss. But the amount of money and the volume of merchandise does surprise me. Wow.