Shop Direct, owner of Littlewoods, will launch a discount website next month as promotions become increasingly integral to sales.
Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive of the home shopping company, said the site, Brand Quarter, is only a trial but if it works it will invest further in it next year. Brands sold will include Boxfresh, Rare and Nike.
“It’s a good time [to launch a discount brand],” Newton-Jones said. “But it will be an austere launch in our austere times.” He added: “We’re seeing customers who used to shop with us three or four times a season cut down until we discount. If we don’t, we lose them to other people.”
Some 30% of items Shop Direct sells are discounted, a figure Newton-Jones expects to rise next year.