Multi-brand online retailer Shop Direct, which owns digital department stores Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, recorded a Christmas trading update which highlights an outstanding performance for Very.
For the seven weeks up to and including Boxing Day, total group sales for the seven-week period were up 4% year-on-year, on the back of extremely strong comparatives and flagship brand Very.co.uk led the charge with a 23% surge in sales. This balanced a profitably managed sales decline of 11% within heritage brands Littlewoods.com and KandCo.com
The results can be attributed to exceptional Black Friday trade, which saw orders at Very.co.uk up 134% year-on-year, and Boxing Day which welcomed a demand up 21%.
Shop Direct also enjoy continued digital momentum, with digital sales increasing to 89% of the total and sales via mobile devices growing by 45%.
The company also saw strong growth in click and collect, with number of parcels delivered to a Collect+ store up by 112% and 72% of parcels delivered free of charge. Shop Direct stood out amongst a sea of retailers with delivery problems, offering a late 10pm order cut-off on 23rd December, delivering 160,000 gifts on Christmas Eve.
For the British retailer, its biggest ever range also drove increase in sales, with 946 brands made available, including new labels Boss Orange, Juicy Couture and Beauty Works. The e-tailer sold one a ‘Frozen’ branded item every 16 seconds, a pair of Converse or UGGs every 33 seconds and over 175,000 PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones (more than double last year).
Alex Baldock, Group CEO, said:
“It was another record Christmas at Shop Direct, and Very.co.uk once again led the charge.
We continue to capitalise on the shift to mobile. Our customers shopped on the go this Christmas and our new Very.co.uk app will make this even easier for them.”
Of the record-breaking black Friday, Baldock said:
“We like Black Friday. It was huge for us and acted as a starting gun for Christmas shopping – peak came earlier than in recent years. Traders like ourselves will thrive in the environment that Black Friday creates and we’re happy that it’s here to stay. The highly promotional market looks set to continue into 2015. We’ll continue to make sure we’re offering customers great deals while maintaining sales and profit growth.
The pureplay retailer has a lot to look forward to yet, with its new brand Very Exclusive, headed up by My-Wardrobe founder Sarah Curran, set to democratise luxury.