isme – The New Name for Marshall Ward

Further Information

At the start of 2011, catalogue firm Marshall Ward was rebranded as isme. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of the brand and the story so far for the new face of catalogue shopping. 

Marshall Ward was one of the most recognisable names in British catalogue shopping. In 2003, it was acquired from owners GUS by Shop Direct Group, the UK’s largest home shopping retailer. 


In 2011, Marshall Ward was rebranded as isme as part of a shakeup of brands at Shop Direct. At the same time, fellow catalogue brands Kays, Empire Stores and Great Universal become K&Co.
inreality Girls

The inreality Girls are a number of ordinary women, chosen to showcase the company’s new trends and talk about their day to day lives. The ladies feature on isme’s Coffee Lounge blog and also in some of the advertising for the brand and its Loose Women trailers. 

Lynda Bellingham & Loose Women

Shortly after its launch, isme announced celebrity endorsement from former OXO mum Lynda Bellingham, and the sponsorship of the ITV show Loose Women, of which she was a presenter. This helped the new brand to gain national exposure with a prime time TV audience. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, Loose Women features a rotating panel of presenters and celebrity guests who discuss the latest current events and show business news. 


In market research carried out before isme’s launch, Shop Direct established that many women were unsatisfied with the shopping experience found on the high street. Many of those surveyed revealed that they struggled to find flattering clothes that fit their shape. In response to this, isme launched a range that includes sizes 6 to 32, plus a wide variety of tall, petite and plus-size items. 

To coincide with the launch of isme, Shop Direct launched a new brand, Savoir Redefined, which sits alongside established brands such as Cotton Traders, Great Plains and Berkertex. In addition to womenswear, the company also offers a range of clothing for men and kids, together with homeware, electricals and furniture. These are all available to customers ordering by phone, or online. 

You can find out more about isme by Marshall Ward at