Since Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay bought this home-shopping and high-street retailer for £750m in 2002, it has undergone extensive restructuring. In 2005, the brothers merged Littlewoods with the home-shopping business they had bought from GUS two years earlier. Renamed Littlewoods Shop Direct Group, it is now focused on home shopping – through catalogues and a growing online presence – and posted sales of £2,754m in 2005. The year also marked the group’s withdrawal from the high street, as it sold 33 Index stores to Argos for £44m and the 120-strong Littlewoods chain to Associated British Foods, owner of Primark, for £409m.

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Company details
Year2006
Rank8
CompanyShop Direct
ActivityInternet and catalogue retailer
LocationLiverpool
Sales £m2,754
Profit £m83
Year endApr 05
Principal shareholdersSir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay (95%), Bank of Scotland (5%)
Staff29,110
Founded1923
Websitewww.shopdirect.com

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure