United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Retail Trade, Except Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles
Retail Sale In Non-Specialised Stores
47.1 - Retail sale in non-specialised stores

3,200 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
18 April 2005
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date
31 October 2005


The UK retail group Littlewoods has announced the loss of 3,200 jobs as part of plans to shut the majority of its Index catalogue-based shops. The closure of the 126 stores and the selling of the remaining 33 shops means the saving of 800 jobs. The retail giant GUS who is buying the stores intends to convert them into Argos stores. Littlewoods said the Index stores had accumulated losses of more than £100 million over two decades of operation.

After discussions with the management the trade union Usdaw National Officer John Gorle said; 'The good news is that the company have given a real commitment to redeploy as many Index staff as possible within the Littlewoods empire from home shopping to their high street stores.'

'The other positive development is that Argos has agreed to give Littlewoods details of their job vacancies across the UK so Index staff at stores where there is no buyer can consider real opportunities in the biggest catalogue shopping chain.We’ve also been approached by other major retailers looking to make contact with the highly trained Index staff to offer them employment which is another option for our members', said Usdaw National Officer John Gorle.


  • 21 April 2005: USDAW Website
  • 19 April 2005: BBC News
  • 18 April 2005: The Guardian


Eurofound (2005), Index, Closure in United Kingdom, factsheet number 61425, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/61425.