Littlewoods to revive Innovations

Littlewoods is resurrecting contraptions bible Innovations and mulling over new title launches at its newly-acquired Shop Direct division.

Innovations became part of the Barclay Brothers catalogue stable in May, after they bought GUS's home shopping business - now called Shop Direct.

Selling must-have gizmos such as night-vision goggles, potato-powered clocks and slippers with headlights, Innovations became a British institution over its 18-year life, but was axed by GUS in April when sales crashed by 8 per cent.

Innovations managing director Linda Green said Shop Direct had been 'inundated with requests' to resurrect the title and would launch a Christmas catalogue and Web site - - on Monday (October 27).

'Innovations is a very popular brand and we believe we can build on that. There are many companies trying to do the same thing, but our plan is to build on Innovations' heritage as the original gadget mail order business,' said Green.

There will be an initial catalogue mail-out of 170,000, but Green intends to establish the title as online, so it can react more quickly to the market. The beloved catalogue will not disappear, but will be smaller and feature best-selling inventions.

Although Littlewoods is waiting for the all clear to merge its home shopping businesses, Green, who also heads up the Argos Additions, Marshall Ward and Abound titles, said it was developing new 'niche offerings'.