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Very has focused on the customer experience and in technology investment in what chief executive Lionel Desclée has described as a “challenging” market, a profile in the recently published RetailX UK Top500 2024 report has highlighted.

Recent upgrades range from AI-powered product discovery on its mobile apps and website to virtual make-up try ons. These build on existing infrastructure that includes its automated Skygate distribution centre.

Very, ranked Top100 in the RetailX UK Top500 2024, is the flagship brand of the £2.15bn turnover Very Group. Very alone turned over £1.8bn in the year to 1 July 2023. The online department store is a digital native brand from a company whose roots go back to 1861 and that first prospered in mail order catalogue era.

Customers can explore the Very website through dropdown search suggestions or navigate its departments – men’s, women’s and children’s clothing to toys, homewares and beauty products. Navigational filters help shoppers to narrow down the range and Very has a lot of these, from brand and price to sleeve length or display size. 

From the category page, shoppers can add a product to their favourites list and see its star rating, stock status and an image. On the product page, they can see a choice of images, whether there’s a discount and delivery options, including free standard delivery when they spend at least £30. Premium delivery options include next-day and nominated-day, while collection is available through a Yodel network store or a Post Office branch. Returns are free within 28 days via store drop-off. 

Very appears to be working to reduce returns by showing on its product page whether an item is true to size. The size and fit are also described in detail, as are materials and care instructions. 

Recommendations are presented throughout the customer journey, from the product page to the checkout. From the product page, shoppers can also save an item for later or share it via X (Twitter), Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or email. Visitors can click through from the landing page to Instagram, Pinterest, X, YouTube and Facebook – where it has an 877k following for deals, product inspiration, live shopping events and videos. Shoppers must be registered to checkout and can pay via bank card or Very’s own payment and credit options. 

The Very company profile is just one in the the RetailX UK Top500 2024 report. Amazon, Asda, Boden, Dunelm, Ikea and Richer Sounds are all profiled in this tenth edition.

The research measures performance according to how retailers, brands and marketplaces add value to their businesses through the Customer, Product, Operations and Capital Value Chains.

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