Littlewoods Shop Direct has outlined ambitious plans to double its online sales to £1 billion by 2011.

At present, about 50 per cent of Littlewoods’ sales are online and are expected to hit£500 million in the year to April 31.

Littlewoods, which is now two years into its five-year turnaround plan, also said that sales growth would be flat or slightly up, after being negative since it left the high street.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said online would be where it builds ranges in future and then take a selection for its catalogues. He also said that Littlewoods would be testing different sizes and formats for its catalogues and that this would see a “significant change” over the next two years.

Littlewoods own-brand products generate 50 per cent of the group’s sales. “This is the place we need to be and we are building up our in-house design teams for more fashion, homewares and electrical lines,” said Newton Jones.

He said the retailer was creating seven new womenswear brands in-house.

For the six weeks to January 4 Littlewoods’ sales rose 7 per cent, driven by strong online sales. Internet sales rocketed 44 per cent compared with the same period last year, with clothing and footwear leading the performance.