Very sales grew by 2.2% in the run up to Christmas, compared to the same time last year, its parent company said today. Almost half of sales took place in its mobile app.
Toys, gifts and beauty products (+17.7% year-on-year (YOY)) and homewares (+10.2%) were the standout categories at the pureplay retailer in the seven weeks to December 23 2022, says Very Group. Electricals grew by 1.4%, with home appliances (+20.6%) leading the way. But sales of fashion and sports products (-6.6%) were down despite growth in both womenswear (+4.8%) and menswear (+1.3%).
At sister company Littlewoods, retail sales fell by 1.3%.
Lionel Desclée, group chief executive at The Very Group, says: “Our team pulled out all the stops to deliver an amazing Christmas for the families we serve and a strong trading performance for the period. We recorded year-on-year growth in Very and grew market share despite the challenging backdrop. As expected, our customers prioritised toys, gifts and beauty items for their loved ones, justifying our decision to invest in stock within the category.
“Our performance was underpinned by our trusted supplier and delivery partner relationships and our highly automated fulfilment centre, Skygate, which allowed us to meet our customers’ expectations throughout the festive period. The impact of the high cost of living will create challenges for all retailers in the year ahead, but we’re confident that our combination of online retail and flexible ways to pay will continue to offer our customers the convenience, value and flexibility they need.”
Over the seven weeks, Very processed 7.8m items through its Skygate automated fulfilment centre. Its busiest day was November 22 2022, when it processed 216,000 products, while the fastest order was sent out in 10 minutes and 30 seconds.The retailer says its month-long Black Friday campaign meant that spikes in demand were managed more easily, keeping stock availability high.
Some 45.4% of sales took place in the Very app, which saw 41.4% of total visits to Very. Visits to the app were 9.4% up on last year. An average of 139,000 customers a week used the Very Assistant chatbot (+1.8% YOY), helping to reduce calls to its contact centre by 9% YOY.
Very is ranked Top100 in RXUK Top500 research.