Posted on January 16, 2018 by staff

Changes at the top as Shop Direct hails performance


Shop Direct has appointed group finance director Derek Harding as interim group chief executive and announced the departure of its chief information officer and head of digital transformation.

The Liverpool-headquartered company, which is behind digital department stores and, said Harding will replace current CEO Alex Baldock at the end of January.

Baldock announced his plans to leave Shop Direct in October.

Meanwhile, head of digital transformation Paul Hornby and chief information officer Andy Wolfe are also both leaving the business.

Hornby has been with Shop Direct for 12 years and is leaving to take up the position of eCommerce director at Matalan. He will be replaced by lead product owner and former Tesco product director Mike Francis.

Jean Marc Domaingue, who has joined Shop Direct as interim CTO from technology and experience design specialist Thoughtworks, is replacing Wolfe.

Jon Rudoe, retail, technology and data director at Shop Direct, said Wolfe has been “instrumental in our transformation from a catalogue business to a technology-driven pureplay etailer”.

He added that Hornby has “led Shop Direct teams to deliver huge advances in customer experience and site performance through innovations including our MyVery app, the Very Assistant chatbot, and our industry-renowned personalisation programme”.

The staff changes come as Shop Direct hailed a sixth consecutive record-breaking Christmas. The group increased revenues by 6.3 per cent year-on-year for the seven weeks up to and including 22 December 2017.

The company’s performance was driven by 16.8 per cent year-on-year growth at Very, its largest and fastest growing retail brand. The increase in mobile sales also continued, with 73 per cent of online sales coming from mobile devices.

Baldock said: “This was another record-breaking Christmas for Shop Direct, on the heels of 9 per cent growth last year and 6 per cent in 2015. Once again, Very was the star of the show, with sales outpacing the UK online retail market. Our early focus on mobile continues to pay off, as it heads towards three quarters of our sales.

“Our long-term investments in data and technology continued, with an easier and more tailored Christmas shopping experience for our customers, particularly on mobile devices.”