Background & overview
Whilst the business was founded over 25 years ago its impressive evolution has meant it looks very different now than it did in its initial days. Since 2000 the business has pushed on to become the 2nd largest UK multi-channel retailer.
The business trades through television shopping channels, numerous websites and its sourcing and wholesale business. The Groups activities combined in 2011 to achieve a 15% increase in sales in 2011, reaching £135m.
Broadcasting 29 hours of live tv a day to 24 million households the businesses reach is impressive. The growing popularity of its channels was demonstrated in 2011 as it acquired 300,000 new customers. This means over 2 million people now regularly shop with the business.
Operating through four television channels: Ideal World, Ideal Extra, Ideal & More and Create and Craft the product portfolio spans most categories. In addition to this the Ideal World website also streams the TV broadcast.
Ideal Shopping Direct is currently at an exciting point in it’s continued development. The Group is rapidly evolving into a broader multi-channel business. This includes its traditional tv shopping brands, numerous additional specialist brands, a fast developing online proposition (sales 300% up in 2011), combined with continued growth across its sourcing and wholesale functions.
Over the past three years under CEO Mike Hancox the business has driven continued improvements in sales and profitability in what is a truly competitive climate. This has culminated in a swing in profitability to c.-£13m in 2008 to c.+£8m pa. Following the sale of the business the management team backed by Inflexion are focused on delivering an ambitious three year growth plan. Testament to this are the recent heavyweight additions to the board across Operations, I.T. and Multi-channel functions (see The Senior Team).