UP TO £50 MILLION is to be ploughed by Littlewoods Home Shopping
division into a major brand consolidation. Over the next eighteen months, the catalogue giant will merge its agency-sales
brands - Peter Craig, Brian Mills, Janet Frazer, John Moores
- into two
Littlewoods-branded titles with a total annual distribution of three million copies. At the same time, the group’s retail catalogue operation Index will be rebranded Littlewoods Index
. According to group chief executive Barry Gibson, the move is driven by market research indications that the group’s core market of lower-income families still regard the name Littlewoods as a powerful brand. ‘Our customers say that the name has great trust, integrity and value’, says Gibson. The two consolidated catalogues will differ: one
offering credit facilities, the other lower prices without credit. In the year to 30 April, Littlewoods’ catalogue businesses contributed £84m in operating profits on sales of £946m, boosting group pre-tax profits to £144m - down from the preceding year’s £191m which included an exceptional profit of £132m.