Shop Direct Group is gunning to grow its overseas business to 10% of its total sales after it launched its first international Littlewoods site last week.
Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “Up to 10% would be a great result but I don’t know where it will settle. To do 10% of £1.7bn would be a significant business.”
Littlewoodseurope.com launched last week in France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, and wants to add further European countries. Newton-Jones said if the move is successful it will seek to open in countries outside of Europe too.
The home shopping group is also mulling taking some of its other brands, such as Woolworths.co.uk, to other countries. “There is no reason why we can’t do other brands,” said Newton-Jones. “We need to be comfortable with the management of it first though and get to grips with local markets.”
The Littlewoods launch is directed mainly at the expat community and is being advertised in airline magazines, local press and newspapers published overseas.
It will offer more than 250 high street brands, mostly smaller items, but said it would look at other networks of distribution to eventually be able to offer larger items.
Newton-Jones added that summer trading in the UK had been very mixed. He said sales in June were up double-digit, while July was weaker and August was “erratic”.
➤ Topshop has expanded its international online business by opening its site to more destinations. It will now deliver to Austria, Norway, Belgium, Finland, Greece, New Zealand and Switzerland, and will offer products including the popular Kate Moss range and pieces from the forthcoming Christopher Kane for Topshop collection.
Topshop head of ecommerce Kate Walmsley said: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer an increased number of international customers the chance to buy at Topshop. We’ve listened to our customers, many of whom make regular pilgrimages to our Oxford Circus flagship and look forward to expanding into other territories in the future.”