Very.co.uk helps Shop Direct to record Christmas figures

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

A strong performance at Very.co.uk helped Shop Direct to a 6.3% year on year rise in group revenue for the seven weeks to December 22nd.

Very, the Liverpool-based retailer's largest and fastest growing retail brand, grew sales by 16.8% year on year.

Shop Direct also announced that Derek Harding, currently group finance director, had been appointed interim group chief executive and will take over from current group CEO, Alex Baldock, whose departure was announced in October 2017 and will leave the business at the end of January.

Other highlights in the trading update included a continued increase in mobile sales, with 73% of online sales coming from mobile devices, up from 68% during the same period in 2016.

Revenue at Littlewoods was down 12.6% year on year, which Shop Direct said was "in line with the strategy of profitable, managed decline for the brand".

Alex Baldock, group CEO at Shop Direct, said: “This was another record-breaking Christmas for Shop Direct, on the heels of 9% growth last year and 6% in 2015. Once again, Very was the star of the show, with sales outpacing the UK online retail market. Our early focus on mobile continues to pay off, as it heads towards three quarters of our sales.
 
“Our long-term investments in data and technology continued, with an easier and more tailored Christmas shopping experience for our customers, particularly on mobile devices."

Derek Harding, incoming interim group CEO and group finance director, added: “Shop Direct has achieved one of retail’s most successful transformations over the last five years, thanks to the commitment of our people, the support of our shareholders and Alex’s leadership.
 
“There’s plenty more to come over the next five years, when we’ll focus on delivering the next phase of our ambitious plan to become a world class digital retailer."

Very.co.uk Christmas advert 2017