Shop Direct, which owns Littlewoods, Isme and Very, has announced plans to close two of its four contact centres due to a shift in consumer behaviour. The home shopping giant says changes in customer shopping, contact and servicing patterns have meant that call volumes into the group’s contact centres have declined by 45 percent in the past five years, whereas contact via social media has risen by more than 1,400 percent over the last year. As a result, Shop Direct has started consultations on the closure of its Worcester and Preston sites, and said it is transferring 1,800 of its staff to Serco, which will now handle all its customer contacts. Some work may also be switched overseas.
Some 8,000 jobs are at risk following the news that embattled greetings-card chain Clinton Cards has appointed Zolfo Cooper as administrator. Earlier this week, Clinton Cards was informed that its banks had sold the company's loan facilities to American Greetings, Clinton Cards’ largest supplier, which then sought to enforce the loan against the business.
Following a decision to give it its own brand identity Isabella Oliver is rebranding its nonmaternity womenswear collection from Isabella Oliver 365 to “Baukjen” from autumn/winter 2012. Founded by creative director, Baukjen de Swaan Arons, the new 90-piece range will be available to purchase through the new Baukjen online store Baukjen.com as of August 2012.
QVC has promoted Steve Hofmann to chief executive of QVC Europe, reporting to QVC president and chief executive officer, Mike George. In this newly created position, Hofmann will oversee QVC’s European markets including the UK, Germany and Italy and accelerate growth opportunities throughout Europe. He maintains his current responsibility as chief executive of QVC Italy and will continue to be based in Milan. Also announced are the promotions of Gregg Bertoni to chief merchandising officer, QVC Italy, and Paolo Penati to chief operating officer and chief financial officer, QVC Italy.
Sales at Superdry owner SuperGroup grew 24.7 percent in the 13-week period to 29th April, but like-for-like sales were flat due to a slowdown in sales from standalone stores and concessions. Chief executive Julian Dunkerton called the performance in the fourth quarter “a disappointing end to a challenging year”. Amid the backdrop of recent profit warnings, he maintained that the “brand remains strong”.
Despite delivering flat underlying sales and a like-for-like decline of 3 percent for the full year, electricals retailer Dixons said sales were ahead of expectations. It was particularly encouraged by a 5 percent rise in like-for-like sales in the final quarter to 28th April. Dixons saw good performances in the UK and Ireland and Northern Europe regions, which both ended the year strongly with like-for-likes up 8 percent and 10 percent respectively in the final quarter. Full year group underlying profit before tax expected to be between £65 million and £70 million, which is towards the top end of expectations.
JD Williams brand Ambrose Wilson is in the Daily Mail for telling a complaining customer to “shut up”.
*Mandatory fields your email address will not be published. All comments are moderated and may be edited. Comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the Catalogue Development Centre Ltd.