Fully digital Shop Direct prints last catalogue

Shop Direct has announced that it has printed its last catalogue this week, marking the end of an era for the Liverpool-based retailer as they take their product entirely into the digital sphere.

The former Littlewoods Group, based in Speke, is now concentrating on online retail after more than 80 years as a catalogue group.

It said it has made the decision based on its customers’ changing shopping patterns.

Shop Direct chief executive Alex Baldock said:

“This is a big step in Shop Direct’s transformation and importantly, it’s one that’s been led by our customers.

“They’ve embraced online at a phenomenal pace – this is where they’re browsing and where they’re buying.”

Shop Direct, which owns department store brands including Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, had already dramatically cut down the number of catalogues it produced.

Five years ago it produced more than five million books but last year it sent out less than 300,000.

Its shoppers are browsing and buying on its websites on an ever increasing scale.

Online now accounts for more than 90% of sales, more than half of which are made on a mobile device, and its websites receive in excess of one million visits per day.

Communicating with customers through its digital channels allows Shop Direct to be more responsive to their needs and react more quickly to emerging trends.

The retailer also serves its shoppers more personalised messages and products digitally by harnessing its customer data.

Mr Baldock added:

“Undoubtedly, we’ve sped up their migration online. Our investment in improving and personalising the online experience is driving our customers’ decision to click rather than flick,”

The decision to cease catalogue production comes two years after Shop Direct kick-started its strategy to transform itself into a world class digital retailer.

The retailer has already reaped the rewards from the investment it has made in cutting-edge technology and customer analytics over the past two years. It posted a 512% jump in profits in its last financial year.

Mr Baldock said:

“We want to spend in areas that really matter to our customer. We know they want a slick, easy online experience and they want it tailored for them. We’re going to give them what they want.

“Now that we’ve fully committed to digital, we’re determined to make ours the best website in the world.”



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