BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 13:10 GMT
Innovations rises from ashes
Innovations catalogue
Techno geeks can rejoice at Innovations' return
The Innovations catalogue is dead, long live Innovations.

Gadget freaks across the globe will be rejoicing at the news that, once more, they can buy wind-up radios, lock de-icers and solar air ships.

And with it launching just in time for Christmas it will even give Santa Claus the chance to clean up his red suit with the penguin steam cleaner - rather appropriate for someone who lives in polar climes.

Since disappearing from our Sunday supplements, seven months ago, the firm has been bought up by online retailer Shop Direct Group.

When it pulled the plug in April, retail giant GUS said the brand no longer made financial sense.

But Shop Direct believes it can make its new incarnation a money spinner.

Internet push

Innovation's Managing Director Linda Green said the firm is looking at new markets such as Japan, but its also moving away from the traditional catalogue.

It's quirky, it's fun, it's unusual but it's the must-haves. We can't live without them
Linda Green, Innovations MD
She said: "We're really pushing the internet because we believe we can respond much faster to the market and bring our customers the products at great value much more quickly."

"I think that's the joy of working for a private company. We can invest in our customers, develop niche brands and work with our customers to bring products that we really want onto the market."

The shift online has seen Innovations become a trimmer affair - much like its credit card camera.

Gone are the all-in-one romper suit style terry towelling bath robes and big slippers that heat up cold toes.

Instead just under 80 items are on offer on the web.

Nasal trimmer _ Innovations
Old favourites, like the nasal trimmer, have returned
Despite the switch you can still get your hands on boys' toys like the digital barman - programmed to supply the recipe for your vodka martini and measure out its ingredients.

'Quirky and fun'

But fans who loved to spend a relaxing day perusing the cat scarers and fun fur lined vibrating golf club covers in the catalogue that was an old fixture of the Sunday supplements need not worry.

And that's despite the magazine slimming down.

Ms Green said: "Sometimes less is more. You'll still see the same catalogue fall out of your Sunday paper occasionally during the year, but it will be smaller than before."

Old favourites like nasal trimmers and motorised spider catchers will still be on hand as the new owners hold true to the old Innovations ethos.

"It's quirky, it's fun, it's unusual but it's the must-haves. We can't live without them. When you realise you want it, you've got to have it," Ms Green says.

She also must be hoping that the Innovations catalogue will become a "must have" itself.

Cult gadget magazine folds
17 Apr 03  |  Business
GUS dodges summer slowdown
15 Oct 03  |  Business
GUS catalogues deal hits snag
25 Sep 03  |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific