is the name of a former retail and gambling company founded in Liverpool
by John Moores
in 1923.It started as a shopping catalogue company, processing orders by post in the early 1970s. In 1981, it expanded to a call centre, processing orders via telephone. At its height, there were about 4,000 employees working for Littlewoods. However, the catalogue market was transformed with the emergence of the internet, and phone transactions slowly diminished after the mid 1990s. It was around this time that Littlewoods began closing its stores, with the outlet at Merry Hill
in the West Midlands
being one of the first outlets to close in 1996.
Littlewoods was among the leading retailers who relocated from town centre stores to new developments, mostly in Enterprise Zones
, to take advantage of the financial incentives that the zones offered. The Merry Hill store, opened on 14 November 1989, was a notable example, replacing the store in Dudley - although that store did not close until January 1990, after its replacement had opened.
In 2000, The Moores family sold the Littlewoods Pools
business to Rodime
In October 2002 the Moores family sold the shopping and catalogue business to David and Frederick Barclay
for £750m. In 2004 Littlewoods was merged with Kays Catalogues
to create the Littlewoods Shop Direct Group (now Shop Direct Group
). The amalgamation of the two businesses led to the closure of many of both brands' distribution centres. Kays main... Read More