This company was formed in 2004, when the billionaire brothers Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay bought the catalogue retailer Shop Direct and merged it with their Littlewoods business. The company adopted the Shop Direct Group name in 2008 but still uses Littlewoods and a number of other brands, including Kays and Additions Direct. The group trades exclusively through catalogues and the internet, having sold its unprofitable high-street stores in 2006. Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones has also revamped the product range, which includes everything from clothing to garden furniture. Shop Direct Group’s holding company, March UK, reported annualised sales of £1,762m for 2008. This year the group bought the online operations of Woolworths.

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Company details
Year2009
Rank20
CompanyShop Direct
ActivityInternet and catalogue retailer
LocationLiverpool
Sales £m*1,762
Profit £m*54
Year endApr 08
Principal shareholdersSir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay (100%)
Staff17,810
Founded1923
Websitewww.shopdirect.com

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure