Online and home shopping retailer Shop Direct Group has bought the Woolworths name and the Ladybird children's wear brand, and plans to relaunch it as an online store this summer.

The transaction, for an undisclosed sum, comes less than a month after Woolworths shut all 807 of its UK stores, with the loss of 27,000 jobs, after failing to find a buyer for its retail business.

Woolworths, which went into administration last November after running up debts estimated at GBP385m (US$594m), will now join other brands operated by Shop Direct including the Additions Direct, Choice and Littlewoods.

News of the deal comes five days after Shop Direct decided to close one of its call centres and restructure a number of others as it shifts it business from mail order catalogues to the Internet. The group's online business now accounts for 56% of total sales, up from 18% three years ago.

Mark Newton Jones, chief executive said: "Our business is changing because the way our customers choose to shop with us is changing. We anticipate that 70% of our sales will be online by 2010/11."