Home shopping boom

01 July 1998

ACCORDING TO a report by retail consultancy Verdict, the home shopping market is currently experiencing an upturn in its fortunes. The surge, which saw the sector grow by 7.9% last year, is attributed to several key factors. Retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Arcadia have now entered the catalogue market, alongside several new and more innovative catalogues such as La Redoute and The Book, which appeal both to a wider market and to customers hitherto unused to catalogue shopping. This change has in turn encouraged traditional catalogue marketers such as Littlewoods and Great Universal Stores to revamp their image in a bid to stay competitive. Growth last year was strongest in the direct catalogue sector, which returned an increase of 15%. The report predicts that more retailers are likely to offer catalogues in the future to complement in-store shopping.