Ideal Shopping Direct exceeds profit expectations
Ideal Shopping Direct, the UK multichannel home shopping retailer, has achieved a significant turnaround of its business in the past 12 months with a profit of £6.5 million compared to the £5 million it predicted earlier in the year.
The company sells into over 31 million homes in the UK via shopping channels on Sky, Freeview, Freesat, Virgin and late-night ITV as well as 35 million homes in America and on its own websites. However, the company made a loss of £32 million in the previous year.
Ideal Shopping Direct’s recently appointed chief executive Jamie Martin (pictured) and chief operating officer Martin Purcell have attributed the turnaround to increased TV audiences and the company’s resilience in an increasingly challenging retail environment brought on by Brexit and lockdown.
Martin said: “Covid-19 forced businesses of all sizes to shift gears. Luckily we were already well on our way with a digitally-centric approach ahead of Covid-19 crisis hitting and the last 12 months has been about us reaping the benefits of this strategy. By laying the foundations to thrive in an increasingly on-demand, online world, our business has not only successfully navigated retail’s choppy waters but we have been able to invest in new facilities, bring on bigger brands and negotiating pivotal partnerships.”
The company has also benefited from a successful negotiation with ITV. Last summer, its Ideal World channel teamed up with the broadcaster to have its own channels take over ITV’s network after midnight which helped to build brand awareness and drive both new suppliers and customers.
In addition, the company has been increasing its investment in the Create and Craft channel as it looks to benefit from a recent explosion in the popularity of craft. This has involved shifting the channel’s product offering and marketing strategy to help target a new younger demographic of consumers, almost a third of which are now under 35. It has also signed Keith Lemon to front its marketing campaigns to help attract younger audiences through digital content across the Create and Craft YouTube and Instagram channels.
Other plans include the establishment of an online ‘marketplace’ where third party sellers can sell a wide range of goods online.
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