Ideal Shopping Direct bought for £200m


The home baking and arts and crafts markets are booming, so much so that a US private equity firm has bought out multi-channel home shopping retailer Ideal Shopping Direct for £200m.

UK private equity firm Inflexion bought Ideal Shopping Direct, which operates four television channels including Ideal World and Create and Craft, for £78m in 2011, de-listing it from London‘s junior stock market Aim. Now it has struck a deal with Blackstone, selling off the company for a sum that‘s more than double the price it was four years ago.  

Since Inflexion took over the business, it‘s been pushing the retailer into the States in an attempt to tap the multi-billion dollar craft market which has traditionally been accessible in the form of physical stores. Now the Ideal Shopping Channel is available in 40m US households. 

In the UK, Ideal Shopping Direct is currently viewed in over 26m homes, where the crafts sector is valued at around £3.5bn, driven by The Great British Bake Off and The Great Sewing Bee trends.  

Retailers that have capitalised on these BBC shows have seen results, with Waitrose recording an 881% increase in the sales of baking trays in the run up to GBBO and John Lewis revealing a 54% increase in sales of simple patterns after the”¯first episode of The Great Sewing Bee

“We see our future collaboration with Blackstone as a new development opportunity for Ideal Shopping Direct, from both a geographical and operational standpoint,” said Mike Hancox, Chief Exec. 

Gerry Murphy, a former Kingfisher boss and now senior Blackstone MD, will take the position of Chairman.