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Mark Newton-Jones, Chief executive, Shop Direct Group

Since joining home-shopping giant Shop Direct Group, Mark Newton-Jones has been the driving force behind a major shift in strategy to move away from traditional catalogues towards online retail.

Three years into a five-year turnaround programme, Shop Direct posted a sales rise of 2.6% to £1.78 billion for the 53 weeks to April 30 – its first sales increase in a decade.

Current trade has also been positive, with sales up 2.2% in the 26 weeks to the end of October, and Newton-Jones says the retailer is on track to meet its target of 70% of sales to come from online by 2011.

Earlier this year, Shop Direct acquired the Empire Stores brand, its customer database and debtor book, from Redcats.

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