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80 jobs at risk in direct shopping centre

Date published: 03 February 2009

MORE than 80 jobs could go at Shop Direct in Oldham, according to a trade union official.

David Johnson, a national officer with Usdaw, said the restructuring of the company’s warehousing and returns operations would put 84 jobs at risk at the company’s distribution centre, in Shaw, and its returns centre, in Chadderton.

The company, formerly known as Littlewoods Home Shopping, said it hopes to find alternative positions for up to 50 staff.

Mr Johnson said: “This is more bad news for our members at the Shop Direct Group, but we will be doing everything we can to minimise the scale of job losses that could result from the company’s latest announcements.”

Consultation on the proposals are under way.

The 23-acre Linney Lane site is the central hub of the company’s distribution network, comprising five buildings, three of which are converted former cotton mills.

It also has a site at Raven Mill, Chadderton.

Last week, Shop Direct announced the loss of 1,000 jobs at it’s Crosby call centre and said 113 were at risk at its head office in Speke.

More jobs were expected to go from its financial services division in Aintree, Liverpool, a call centre in Preston and at the warehousing division in Manchester.

Shop Direct employs 10,500 staff, including up to 1,250 in Shaw, and has sales of £1.6 billion.

The group includes the former catalogue shopping giants of Littlewoods, Great Universal and Kays as well as Additions Direct, Marshall Ward and Choice.

Sales were up 9 per cent in a January trading update, with online sales growth of 44 per cent.

Bosses say they are restructuring to become an online-led business as customers have become more confident with internet shopping, leading to a reduction in telephone orders.

Chief executive Mark Newton Jones said he anticipated that 70 per cent of sales would be online by 2010-11.


As an ex mail order employee of 33 years,I can understand the call centre jobs going in Liverpool. But with the increase in business online, product still has to be warehoused and despatched, and there still has to be an adequate facility for returns!Add to this the fact that Shop Direct has just bought the Woolworth brand to operate another online business! Why should jobs at Shaw and Raven be at risk?


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