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Littlewoods shifts bulk of sales to e-commerce site

02 June 2011 - 10:43 by Mike Price

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Littlewoods and its parent firm, Shop Direct, have announced the news that now more than 70 per cent of sales are made via safe shopping online, a goal which was set in order to become less reliant on the high street.

According to CEO, Mark Newton-Jones, Shop Direct is now classed as the third largest e-commerce firm in the UK, with Amazon and Tesco the only two rivals which can outdo it in terms of sales.

A number of online brands are owned and operated by the organisation, with Littlewoods also being joined by and the online iteration of failed high street chain Woolworths.

A proportion of the firm's orders are still made from catalogues, which Mr Newton-Jones identified as enduringly important, but he pointed out that the high street has been usurped in favour of offering customers a place to carry out safe shopping online, no matter where they live.

Mr Newton-Jones said that 67 per cent of Shop Direct's turnover was represented by online sales, but announced that in terms of units, the online market was closer to 72 per cent of products sold.

Although many might think of catalogues as obsolete in the face of the increased convenience of e-commerce sites, Mr Newton-Jones said that the firm will continue to provide catalogues for as long as there is demand, which appears to be the case for the foreseeable future, according to the Liverpool Daily Post.

With £1.67 billion made last year, Shop Direct is faring well in an unstable market, but Mr Newton-Jones acknowledged the fact that nothing was certain with the current economic climate, making all consumers more cautious with their cash. The fact that high street brands can migrate to the internet and improve their performance at least offers a lifeline to struggling chains.