Catalogue Shopping in the UK

The UK catalogue scene is full of variety and choice from the many catalogue companies that dominate the shopping sector. The beauty of shopping this way is tha it is far more convenient than any other method. You have instant access to thousands of products because they are all in the same place. This is why catalogues have always been so popular, and are becoming even more popular. It is very easy to use a catalogue, you can simple flick through the paper copy pages if you have one at home, or you can go online and use the web sites, which are equally simple to navigate through.

It is the UK where all the action happens, and the big name players in this industry are locked in fierce competition with each other on a constant basis. Each company wants the largest market share and they all have slightly different methods of doing this. Some focus on being the cheapest, and selling more goods at low prices than the rest. Others focus on quality and luxury, and tend to sell more expensive items. All this means that the customer has a large base to find exactly what they want, at a price that suits their budget.

Probably the most well known brands are Argos,
Littlewoods, Additions Direct, JD Williams, Kays, Great Universal and many more. These brands are the most recognised as they have been around on the shopping scene for well over 50 years. They have built their reputations by providing excellent customer service, reasonable prices, and selling a very wide range of goods and services. They have also built up the trust factor, and this is very important when you are selling things. It makes customers feel safe and secure when they visit these sites and place their orders.

The concept of catalogue shopping has been around for many years, and has proved to be successful. Mail order shopping involves bringing out a catalogue and allowing people to browse through the pages and then telephone their order through. This has changed somewhat in recent years due to the internet. Every one of the major companies has an online store, which features all the same products you will find in the paper copy catalogue. Mass production and distribution of a catalogue brings your goods to the public at large, and businesses like argos now have their catalogue in over half the population of the UK. This is very good for bringing awareness to the brand name, and although the costs involved are very high,  the rewards are equally beneficial.

You now have the ability to shop at these stores on the high street, in a more traditional way, or go online and shop that way. You can still phone up and order as well. This multi channel operation is the best way to serve most types of customer, and it helps to increase the customer base, which in turn helps to sell more goods and increase profits.

The online stores are also very simple to use. A lot of thought goes into their design, to make them as user friendly as possible. A lot of people are only interested in speed and simplicity, they do not want to have to wait around or press too many buttons to find what they are after. The catalogue retailers know this all too well, and they go out of their way to make things quick and efficient. I you go to any of the sites you will be greeted with a very well laid out design that allows for fast searching and comparisons. All the many departments are easily found from the main page, and with a few clicks you are able to go directly to any given page. Useful and clear pictures give the customer a great idea of what the product looks like before they buy, and there are even videos and interactive features on most catalogue web sites these days.

Catalogues are a great way to shop, and they continue to grow and expand. More people the never in the UK are choosing this simple method to save time and money. The prices are typically amongst the lowest you will find anywhere, and the more you shop the better the deals get, as loyalty is always rewarded.

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K and Co

K and Co is the result of the Shop Direct group merging 3 of their brand catalogues, these being Kays, Empire and Great Universal catalogues. I think the reason they have merged is to save costs. Before the change, if you ever visited these catalogues you would notice just how similar they all were. Many of the same lines of clothing and other products could be found at all 3 of them, so i guess it made sense to combine them together. All of these 3 catalogues are traditional brands with almost 100 years of trading each, so to see these names now merged to survive is perhaps a sign of the times. If you had ever visited the websites before the merger, you would have noticed how similar they looked, and they sold the same items as well.

The main K and Co site is very similar to the Very catalogue site, using the same colours and layout throughout. The main difference between them is how you can pay for things. Shop Direct also own Littlewoods, and the payment terms on K and Co are the most similar to Littlewoods. This means the prices are a bit higher than with Very, but the upside is you have longer repayment periods, hence the increase in prices. You have to be careful as some of the deals are advertised as interest free, which although technically they are, the original price is inflated to reflect the longer payment time frames. Hope that makes sense!

k and co website

The online store contains everything you would find in the paper catalogue, the difference is that all the latest deals, sale items and new product ranges can be viewed online immediately. If you enjoy browsing and flicking through the paper catalogue then you can request a copy on the website. You just need to enter your personal details. Be aware that a credit check will be carried out on you, and if accepted, you will receive a copy of the catalogue and you will also get a promotional discount of 10% off your first purchase. You can make good use of this discount if you buy a big ticket item. You may be on the lookout for a new sofa, if so it can be a simple way to get 10% off the list price. Have a close look at the terms and conditions on the K and Co website for this discount offer, some electrical items like computers are not part of this promotion.

As you would expect with a Shop Direct catalogue, you get excellent delivery options, which is typically free within 2 days, and returns are also free. The biggest bonus with all Shop Direct catalogues is that you can order up to 8pm and still get next day delivery. This is important if you want something as soon as possible, like the latest fashion. The Collect Plus delivery system is also a way to avoid waiting at home for delivery, you can just pick up your order from a local store that is part of the network. To find your nearest collection point just simply type in your postcode on the website and a list of the closest stores will appear.

K and Co have a three tier rewards scheme that is an incentive to spend more with them. You have silver, gold and platinum levels. If you reach platinum level you get 12.5% off your purchases, which is a big saving if you are a regular shopper. All the terms are available on the website and it is well worth looking into if you shop with K and Co on a regular basis.

One very useful feature on the site is the size and fit section. You will find videos and articles to help you determine your correct size and shape. This is vital if you want any clothes you order to fit just right. Many clothes shoppers end up returning ill fitting clothes, and this costs the online retailer money to collect and return these products, then send out another item. It is far better to get it right first time, so if you are planning on buying clothing from K and Co, make sure you know your size before ordering.

The overall impression of K and Co is that it offers a wide range of products, especially womens clothing lines. As part of the Shop Direct network you get excellent delivery options and a trusted brand where online shopping is safe. If you are going to shop there on a regular basis then the rewards are pretty good. The prices are higher than with other catalogues, but this is down to the flexible payments. Make sure to keep on top of your payments to avoid interest charges.

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