TV shopping group Ideal Shopping Direct has said it will focus on improving its online offer after a turbulent year led to a pre-tax loss of £4m.

Ideal chief executive Mike Hancox, who joined the group in November, said: “There has been a lot of optimism from Ideal in
the last few years and it has not been delivered.”

He said that he will now prioritise a “strategic focus on good retail and home shopping best practice”.

One of the areas that has been severely overlooked, according to Hancox, is its website. “The website has not been particularly good. Stock was brought in just for the TV shows and did not suit an internet model.” He wants to make the website more of a “destination” and substantially increase online sales from present levels of around 25 per cent.

Ideal’s total sales fell 2 per cent to £97.7m in the year to December 28.

Numis analyst Andrew Wade said: “Mike Hancox has identified plenty of opportunities for operational improvement, not least in stronger marketing and more control around promotional activity.” However. he added that “there is still plenty to do”.

Hancox said that Ideal’s trial of selling other retailers’ products is working well, with one success being its fashion TV shows with plus-size retailer Yours. Ideal is also planning to trial selling Red Letter experience days, which Hancox said will work well as the TV medium will be able to show the experience that customers can buy.