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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 11, 2015

Shop Direct signals the end of print catalog distribution

Eight decades of print catalog distribution is coming to an end as Shop Direct, which owns department store brands including and, makes the decision to cease producing printed catalogs.

by Helen Leggatt

In what Alex Baldock, group chief executive calls "a big step in Shop Direct's transformation" print catalogs will make way for a "slick, easy online experience". Baldock says the decision was based on their customers' wants and behavior.

"They've embraced online at a phenomenal pace - this is where they're browsing and where they're buying," he said. More than 90% of the group's sales are now online.

Shop Direct's print runs have declined in recent years from more than five million in 2010 to 300,000 last season. In its heyday, 25 million catalogs were distributed. Baldock says the group is now fully committed to the online experience having sped up customers' move online through investment and personalization. Telephone ordering will still be available and a short catalog of the retailers leading products distributed.

Earlier this year, Shop Direct's flagship brand website,, boasted a retail first with the implementation of Personalization Initiatives.

In May, 2014, Shop Direct set up an in-house user experience lab. The aim, said Jonathan Wall, ecommerce director at Shop Direct, is to "improve its understanding of how customers struggle and succeed on its websites, and how it can make its products more easily accessible. Through a user-centered design process, the lab will also act as a space to collaborate and innovate on existing features and future web technologies".

Shop Direct's current brand collection includes:

K and Co

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: catalog, digital, ecommerce, personalization, print, retail, website experience

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