POWER LIST 2018: Business Big Shots – Alex Baldock, CEO, Shop Direct

Since joining Shop Direct, the ecommerce giant behind Very and Littlewoods, in 2012, CEO Alex Baldock has steered the company’s turnaround from a catalogue retailer to a digital business, resulting in five years of record profits and sales.

He made the bold decision to stop printing the Littlewoods catalogue in 2015 in favour of an online-only model and has most recently been focused on boosting the company’s use of artificial intelligence to respond more quickly to customer buying patterns.

And his switch to digital has paid off in dividends. In October 2017, Shop Direct reported a year of bumper sales, driven by an increase in consumer smartphone activity.

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The retailer boasted sales of £1.93bn, with a like-for-like growth of 5.3% for the year ending July 2017.

Across the Shop Direct portfolio, it received more than 1.3 million website visits every day, with 69% of online sales completed on mobile devices.

Shop Direct drove sales via smartphone by continuing to invest in mobile personalisation before, during and after customers shopped, through social media channels and applying machine learning.

Fashion retailer Very also helped boost sales during the financial year, with the MyVery app driving 32% of all Very’s mobile sales, up 21% from 2016.

Alex said at the time: “Once again, Very and m-commerce were the big drivers of our growth. Our fashion performance stood out in a volatile market as we brought even more famous brands within reach of
our customers.”

Before being appointed as group CEO of Shop Direct in 2012, Alex was managing director at Lombard, the UK’s leading asset finance company and a division of RBS Group.

He joined Lombard in 2008 from Barclays, where he held senior roles in both corporate and commercial banking.
Prior to that, Alex was a management consultant, advising blue chip corporates from all sectors.

Alex is set to step down from the helm of Shop Direct next summer. When the Lingerie Insight Power List went to press, he had not yet revealed or confirmed if he has secured another role.

“I‘ve loved my time at Shop Direct. It‘s been a pleasure and a privilege to lead this exceptional team through such a rapid and far-reaching transformation,” he said.

For the full Business Big Shots list, CLICK HERE

Profile

Company: Shop Direct
Address: Skyways House, Speke Road, Speke, Liverpool, L70 1AB
Tel: 0844 292 1000
Twitter: @ShopDirect
Website: www.shopdirect.com
Focus: Fashion and lifestyle retail

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