Etail group moves away from catalogues to focus on its retail websites

Shop Direct to cut 95 jobs as part of ‘digital first’ strategy

Etail group Shop Direct is to scrap 95 jobs as it steps back from its catalogue business to focus on its retail websites.

Senior execs notified staff at its Speke, Liverpool and Greater Manchester centres this weeks, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Shop Direct currently has 4,700 staff. Roles affected by the job cuts are in the creative, buying, merchandising, planning, scheduling, operations and customer experience teams.

Shop Direct – which operates etail sites including,,,, K& – aims to finish the redundancy process by the end of June.

The company sent out 25 million catalogues to customers in 2005, but last year it distributed less than one million.

It set out a ‘digital first’ £100 million initiative two years ago to help transform the business to focus on the online side. The strategy is similarly to that of Argos, which has invested in stepping back from its catalogue business in favour of etail.

Shop Direct CEO Alex Baldock says more than 100 new staff have joined the Speke centre recently to work on digital initiatives, and later on the group will introduce new IT systems to help it better manage the way products are sold online.

He said: “We’re pleased with our progress over the last two years. We’ve moved the business into profit for the first time in a decade and are in good shape to continue to grow both sales and profit over the coming years.

“But our customer is changing fast and we need to keep pace with her. We intend to simplify our business so that we continue to thrive in this rapidly changing environment.

“This is, of course, a tough time for some of our colleagues. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of our people for their support and commitment as we continue our transformation.”

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