Shop Direct plans to shutter its Littlewoods Clearance division, which markets unsold stock from across the group’s retail brands, next February.
The move will impact 143 full-time employees and six agency workers across the division’s seven UK stores, websites including Bargain Crazy, the Bolton-based fulfilment centre and head office.
The impacted roles have been played into consultation, with redundancies expected as a result of the proposed closures.
Retail director at Shop Direct said: “While it has been successful in clearing unsold stock for many years, our standalone operation Littlewoods Clearance is expensive to run and is losing money.
Aware of this, and the need to continue our digital transformation, which has seen us remove the catalogue and consolidate brands in recent years, we reviewed alternative options for clearance.“
“We found that selling unsold stock in bulk to third parties is the most efficient way to clear it. Simplifying our approach in this way will allow us to free up money to invest further in our digital future and focus on our core pureplay online business.
“The proposal to close Littlewoods Clearance is a difficult decision, but one we believe is necessary for our business. Our priority is to provide a fair outcome for our team and we’ll do everything we can to support potentially impacted colleagues.
“The company’s recognised trade union, Usdaw, is aware of the proposals and we are keeping it updated on progress.”
Shop Direct swung to a full-year pre-tax loss of £24.7m last month driven by the cost of PPI claims by its customers.