[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Littlewoods axe 1,200 in shake-up
Skyways House - Littlewoods HQ
Littlewoods moved its head office to Liverpool from Manchester in 2005
Home shopping group Littlewoods Shop Direct is to close three warehouses with the loss of 1,200 jobs.

Under shake-up plans, the group plans to switch its operations from the three sites to Oldham, Greater Manchester.

Sites in Eccles and Wigan are set to close in 2007, as will another in Worcester.

Littlewoods Shop Direct employs about 21,500 people and operates 15 brands, including Kays catalogues. It no longer owns any stores.

Littlewoods' owners, the Barclay brothers, sold off the group's store chain to Associated British Foods' fashion group Primark in a 409m deal last year.

Transformation

Littlewoods said it had made the decision to concentrate all of its warehouse operations at one site because of "excess capacity" within its warehouse network.

"We are focused on transforming the business into a modern and efficient retailer that has a strong and sustainable future," chief executive Mark Newton Jones said.

As well as announcing the closure, Littlewoods said it would be pumping 250m into the group over the next five years.

The investment should help it reposition its brands, improve the way it sources its goods and boost its online sales, which it expects to double from 370m in 2006.


SEE ALSO:
Flagship store enters last hours
08 Jan 06 |  Merseyside
Investment plan for Primark chain
12 Sep 05 |  Business
Littlewoods shops sold for 409m
11 Jul 05 |  Business
Jobs to go as Index stores close
19 Apr 05 |  Business


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific