Kay & Company was founded over a century ago. It would go on to become the first business in what would eventually be Shop Direct. In July 2015 K&Co.com, as it became known, was shut down.


Littlewoods was launched in Liverpool, by the famous John Moores, as a sports betting company. By 1932, the firm had pivoted into a mail-order retailer, with the first store opening in Blackpool in 1937.


Littlewoods merged with Kay Catalogues to create the Littlewoods Shop Direct Group. The move led to the closure a number of distribution centres, and operations in Liverpool were cut back.


The closure of 119 Littlewoods high street stores was announced. It was also revealed that Index, owned by Littlewoods had made a profit in just 18 of 20 years and was running at a £100m loss.


Shop Direct becomes a completely online retailer, with brands such as Very.co.uk and Isme.com. It followed the company posting profits of £40m from its operations the year before.


Shop Direct announces plans to shut three distribution sites, including one in Little Hulton, with a total of 2,000 jobs set to be lost in 2020. They will be relocated to the East Midlands.