Zyra's site //// Shopping //// Companies //// Site Index
Littlewoods Shop Direct
Reviewed at Zyra's affiliate website
The Littlewoods Shop Direct Group is a company owning a number of well-known highstreet brands. Here at Zyra.org.uk we currently get on well with the company and hope to continue to be good for business.
The list of brands within The Shop Direct Group includes (or has included) the following:
K and Co
Littlewoods Home Shopping
(Formerly Argos Additions)
Bargain Crazy - this is Littlewoods Clearance
LX Direct - Littlewoods Extra
Woolworths Online - How about that for a turn-up for the books?! - Also see The Return of Woolworths!
Innovations - gone, and the site now links to Additions Direct
Abound - looks like this has gone to Additions Direct
Ben Sherman - I'm not sure what's happened to that
Some of these are still on the go and are doing well, and a few have gone, or been renamed, but the central business continues to prosper.
Of course the company is keen to protect these brands, so some Special Terms and Conditions were applied in addition to the usual terms and conditions, when the affiliate program was at Commission Junction
The conditions were moderately reasonable when the programs were with CJ, although when the affiliate programs moved to Buy.at, it wasn't any "special terms" that were the problem, but instead it was the AOL Buy.at contract which was imposed by Buy.at after Buy.at was taken over by AOL. Of course that is not Shop Direct's fault! We sympathise with them and offer them our condolences.
Going over the previous Special Conditions: We agree mostly to the Special Conditions, such things as "no spam" (see our spam policy), and no paying of search engines (see our abstinence of PPC policy), no pop-ups (see our stuff denouncing annoying pop-ups). As regards regionality, WELL DONE to Shop Direct for updating their conditions! Of course, it should not matter where the site owner lives, it only being important where the visitors are! See Regionality. A site should be able to attract visitors who are within the delivery area of the company. We do! Also, where appropriate, region-specific notes are placed on pages to avoid confusion. Now on the freedom of speech, it's important to be able to say what's good and bad. This site insists on having freedom of speech, so the ability to create our own creative is important. That's partly how customers can judge the honesty of what's being said.
Why this page exists: Although we enjoy good diplomatic relations with the companies who fly the flag of The Shop Direct Group, it is important when running a business not to be dependent upon any particular group lest you become a slave to them. (see the "Don't have all your eggs in one basket" item on the page of How to Run a Business). Whilst Shop Direct is not a monopoly, concern was shown a while ago when this condition was encountered:
"If you breach any of the conditions above, you accept that you will be removed from the Shop Direct Programs with immediate effect (notwithstanding any provision for notice in the Commission Junction Publisher Service Agreement), any accrued commission will not be paid to you and you will be unable to reapply to become a publisher under any other Publisher name or through another site".
Therefore this page has been created to help to monitor the situation and to ensure a great enough diversity within the SHOPPING PORTAL so we advertise Shop Direct competitors in at least equal measure to their member companies. Besides being good for customers having a choice of places to go shopping rather than having everywhere owned by the same company, it also helps to keep our independence by not being an "all eggs in one basket" company.
Special Note to Shop Direct PR Department: We are good for business and hope to continue to be good for business in the future.
Update: Shop Direct has gone on to be Littlewoods Shop Direct. Also, the market and range has changed here, so whereas the initial caution was considered notably valid at the time, it's less worrying now because the category of Shopping Catalogues now includes more shopping catalogues, making it feel less close to a monopoly. This is good! As a result, when the Littlewoods Shop Direct Group shopping catalogues all moved to Buy.at , it was considered safe to include all of them at Zyra's site, rather than hold back. Therefore, as well as featuring Littlewoods Shop Direct merchants that have always done well here, such as LX Direct, Additions Direct, and Littlewoods Home Shopping, we now have extra pages for Great Universal , Marshall Ward , and Ben Sherman
The idea of having a balanced portfolio, as per How to Run a Business, still continues, and if you'd like to be an affiliate, and you'd like to have shopping catalogues, there's a good range of them here and I can tell you which affiliate marketing companies each of them is with. Good Luck!
Special note 2009: Well Done to helpful people at Shop Direct Group for trying to save the affiliate arrangements which were put in jeopardy after Buy.at's new contract became a problem. Shop Direct were justifiedly keen to keep us on their affiliate program, and the only problem was Buy.at , who seemed at the time hellbent on scuppering any reasonable diplomatic talks. It's a shame when the affiliate marketing company turns out to be a problem getting in the way of good business.
It is ironical that the initial fear of "putting all your eggs in one basket" should turn out to be manifested in a different context yet still related to Shop Direct Group. The problem in the end was with Buy.at rather than with Shop Direct.
Companies should take note and beware of contracts and deals that try to restrict free trade. Beware of Exclusive Agreements. (An Exclusive Agreement can become an Abusive Agreement!)
We wish Shop Direct good luck with their new affiliate program when they have freedom to have affiliate programs where they choose. That would include freedom to leave Buy.at !
News! Update 2010: Buy.at bought out by Affiliate Window! That makes a big difference. We will now be putting the links back up again! Whe-hey!