Littlewoods Catalogue - Home of the Big Brands
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Littlewoods Catalogue

The UK's favourite Home Shopping Catalogue

Littlewoods Catalogue Website

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A Social history of Littlewood's Mail Order Catalogue and Home Shopping empire from the early 1930's upto the present day.

This web site describes the changes and major events that have taken place over the past 8 decades including: the change from "mail order" via post, to "mail order" via telephone (telephone ordering) to todays "mail order" via the web .

Pictures on the site include covers of Littlewoods Home Shopping catalogues over the past 80 years. We also feature fashion styles and household appliances relvant to each decade.! How much was a Gas iron in the 1940s? How about a Hotpoint washing machine in the Seventies?

The social changes and leisure patterns of customers that drive these changes, reflect the change in UK society over 3 generations. Part of the expansion of Littlewoods has seen the creation of Littlewoods Clearance where surplus stock can be bought at cheap prices. Littlewoods is part of the Shop Direct group of home shopping brands that also include K and Co (previously known as Kays catalogue), Very, and Isme (previously Marshall Ward).

Scroll down or use the navigation on the left to choose the decade of your choice.

home shopping catalogue cover 1930
1930s Already flourishing in America through Sears Roebuck, mail order shopping became an important sector of the retail trade in Britain with the entry into the market of Littlewoods in 1932. Littlewoods Mail Order in the 1930s 1940s The War Years
Thousands of men and women did their war service in the Littlewoods Army.
We made Wellington bombers and saw them fly
Littlewoods Catalogue in the 1940s
1950s The Littlewoods Home Shopping catalogue of 1950 showed how tight money had become, with manufacturers starting the unwelcome trend of slipping an odd shilling on to a round figure sum - or, even worse, moving up to just under the next round figure.
Was this the start of £9.99 pricing
Littlewoods Catalogue in the 1950s
1960s The lower and middle classes were more prosperous than ever before at the start of the 1960s. Young people particularly, saw their wealth amount at last to a formidable size, and they made the most of it. The home shopping catalogue markplace had more to spend...
Littlewoods Catalogue in the 1960s
1970s There were plenty of new lines on offer, including electric can openers, coffee makers and hot plates, tumble driers and spin driers and the electric overblanket joined the underblanket. The first rotary clothes lines went on sale for £4.49.
Littlewoods Catalogue in the 1970s
1980s Price rises over the previous decade were felt keenly in the Littlewoods home shopping catalogues but, as always, the home shopping service provided not merely a more convenient but also a cheaper altermative.
Littlewoods Catalogue in the 1980s
1990s This decade saw home shopping/mail order sales nationwide totalled at £3.56bn: Littlewoods share was 28% (£933m). And compared with 1932, the cost of many articles has gone up by less than the approximate hundredfold increase common to many sectors of the general retail index.
Littlewoods Catalogue in the 1990s
Littlewoods Direct - 2000s The Launch of Littlewoods Direct, order a catalogue or go to the Littlewoods Web site and check out the product range for yourself.
In 2009 Littlewoods Direct was re-branded to Very catalogue.
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littlewoods catalogue history website - click on any one of the links to go shopping now
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Catalogue Editorial

Next Directory at Christmas

Let Next Directory give you a stress free Christmas with hundreds of fantastic gift ideas in their special Christmas section. From fashion ideas to gadgets, decorations to christmas wrapping, there are top quality products for all your needs.

....more about Next Directory at Christmas
Catalogue Shopping at Christmas

With the shedding of each autumn leaf, the countdown to Christmas has already begun. Very soon, ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ and Christmas carols played on radios and televisions will march in the best holiday season of the year. Christmas decorations will light up every shop and street, and shoppers will soon flock to the stores for gifts and decorations.

....more about Catalogue Shopping at Christmas


There have been dramatic changes in almost every aspect of family life over the past three generations but 60 years ago, when the social revolution was restlessly stirring, conditions were indeed ripe for change.

"An analysis of Littlewoods mail order catalogues over that entire period shows just how significant those changes have been", said social historian Denis Frost. "Today's average housewife and mother spends only three hours a day cooking and doing the housework.

"That would have been unthinkable for her counterpart in the early 1930s, who was no more than a slave to the housework. Without a doubt, the advent of home shopping (including Littlewoods catalogue) has made an impressive contribution to the social revolution for women".