Home shopping business Shop Direct Group is planning to outsource some of its IT and network capabilities which will impact 160 jobs in the business.

Part of its IT capability will be outsourced to IBM affecting 151 jobs. As part of the contract employees will be offered transfer from Shop Direct Group to IBM under the protection of TUPE (2006) legislation.

It has also entered into a contract re-negotiation with Cable & Wireless to manage the company’s network and communications services. Nine employees will be offered a transfer to Cable & Wireless.

Shop Direct, which runs brands including Littlewoods and Very, said that the move would “provide greater flexibility, resilience and scalability to enable the continued growth of its online business”.

Shop Direct has been restructuring the business over the last few years as is targets 70% of its sales from online.

Shop Direct Group has now entered a formal consultation period during which it will discuss the impact of the proposal with affected employees, their trade union and management representatives.

In January Shop Direct proposed the closure of three of its contact centres with the possible loss of 1,500 jobs.