Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Sunday, 22 May 2005 22:27 UK

Littlewoods breaks male tradition

Norbert Michalke carrying a child on the front of the Littlewoods catalogue
Littlewoods hopes the break with tradition will be well received

The Littlewoods retail store has put a male model on the front cover of its home shopping catalogue for the first time, breaking a 72-year tradition.

The company hopes Norbert Michalke, 33, the former face of Calvin Klein's Eternity for Men, will appeal to both male and female customers.

The change is part of Littlewoods' bid to improve its home shopping services.

The autumn catalogue, launched this month, is the latest in a series which started in 1932.

Research conducted by Littlewoods Even More suggests that 47% of men refused to shop on the high street.

Catwalk veteran

Meanwhile, 29% of those questioned revealed that girlfriends or mothers bought their clothes for them.

Sarah Cheetham, brand director of Littlewoods Even More, said: "Having a man on the front cover of a catalogue has never before been considered.

"However, following extensive research, we decided that now was the time to do it."

According to Cat Trathen, head of the men's division of the Storm modelling agency which represents Mr Michalke, the 6ft 1in German model is a catwalk veteran who has appeared in a number of high-profile campaigns.

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