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Littlewoods begins European journey

Littlewoods Direct will make its first foray into Europe this summer with the launch of its site in France, Spain, Portugal and Germany. Text on the European site will initially be in English, but the trial could pave the way for language-specific sites.

A spokeswoman for Shop Direct, Littlewoods’ parent company, said: “It is the next step for the business to progress into Europe. The plan is to get the proposition known in these markets, but we are still deciding how to market it.

“France, Spain, Portugal and Germany also have the highest population of ex-pat communities; there is the demand there. We will continue to distribute from the UK.”

Littlewoods’ home-shopping rivals Asos, N Brown and M and M Direct also have plans to expand into Europe this year.
James Roper, chief executive of online research firm IMRG, said UK etailers were well ahead of their European counterparts. “The trend for UK etailers launching in Europe reflects how hot the UK fashion scene is, and how well British trading standards are respected. The UK is far more advanced in online fashion than the rest of Europe,” he said.

Separately, Littlewoods will unveil its summer advertising campaign on Monday. The £3.3 million campaign, with the strapline ‘Whoever you are, shop your way at’, will run on TV, in print and online.

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