Shop Direct to close Littlewoods Clearance with 143 jobs at risk
Shop Direct has announced proposals to close its loss-making clearance operation, including seven outlet stores and its Bargain Crazy website, in a move that would impact almost 150 staff.
The company’s Littlewoods Clearance is its primary sales channel for surplus stock, helping it get rid of unsold inventory from its retail brands including Very.co.uk and Littlewood.
The operation includes websites BargainCrazy.com, Very Clearance eBay, Littlewoods Clearance eBay, Littlewoods Returns eBay and Littlewoods Clearance Amazon, as well as seven retail outlets across England and Wales, and a Bolton-based fulfilment centre and head office.
Shop Direct said it will soon enter into a consultation period with the 143 permanent colleagues and six agency employees that would be impacted by the closure. If enacted, redundancies are anticipated as a result of the proposed closures, which are expected to be completed by the end of February 2019.
“While it has been successful in clearing unsold stock for many years, our standalone operation Littlewoods Clearance is expensive to run and is losing money. Aware of this, and the need to continue our digital transformation, which has seen us remove the catalogue and consolidate brands in recent years, we reviewed alternative options for clearance,” said Sam Perkins, group retail director at Shop Direct.
“We found that selling unsold stock in bulk to third parties is the most efficient way to clear it. Simplifying our approach in this way will allow us to free up money to invest further in our digital future and focus on our core pureplay online business.”
The group said it was a difficult but necessary decision as it continues to focus on becoming a leading customer-centric business.
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