Shop Direct e-commerce chief to leave

Shop Direct’s e-commerce director is to leave the e-tail giant in the middle of August after seven years in his role there.

Jonathan Wall has helped drive the UK’s second-largest pureplay e-tailer through one of the most dynamic phases for home shopping specialists as they have morphed from their catalogue roots into purely digital businesses.


Shop Direct/Very.co.uk


And the company said he has “built a multi-award winning e-commerce team, overseen the creation and development of Shop Direct’s five star-rated apps, led retail firsts including Very.co.uk’s soon-to-be AI-enabled chatbot, and played a large part in placing mobile at the heart of the customer journey.”

And that prioritising of mobile has been key during the past few years with the company saying sales via mobile devices represented 68% of Shop Direct’s online sales over Christmas 2016.

On Monday, Wall said: “When I arrived at Shop Direct, we were still very much a catalogue-focused business. Our ambition was to grow online to 70% of total sales by the end of 2010 – a target that we smashed thanks to the relentless drive of the outstanding e-commerce team we have here.

“To look at everything the business has achieved since then – in particular making the bold decision to cut the catalogue last year to become 100% online, while continuing to hit record sales and profits – makes me extremely proud. Shop Direct has huge ambitions for the future.”

It's not known where he will go next although his departure appears to be amicable with Jon Rudoe, group retail and technology director at the company, describing Wall as “a top guy [who] will be missed.”

But he leaves at a crucial time for the firm with news this month that its long-expected £3 billion sale has been axed. That cancellation came amid speculation that bidders weren’t prepared to pay such a high price in today’s tough environment, despite Shop Direct’s ongoing sales rises.

He also leaves as Sarah Curran, the My-wardrobe entrepreneur who was brought on board to launch Shop Direct’s high-end VeryExclusive website steps down form her role there.

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