The Very Group said that its new automated fulfilment centre meant that its fastest online order over Christmas was processed in 10 minutes 30 seconds.
The listed Liverpool-based retailer made the statement as part of this morning’s trading update.
It said that sales grew 2.2% compared to last year, during the pandemic. However, it was up 19.6% when up against 2019 (pre-pandemic).
Its toys, gifts and beauty categories were the strongest performers, followed by home.
“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,” said Lionel Desclée, Group CEO at The Very Group.
“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.”
In total 7.8m items were processed at its Skygate fulfilment centre, with 216k products on one day alone (22nd November).
Around 139k used the Very Assistant Chatbot (up 1.8% year-on-year). This uses artificial intelligence to process natural language and process more than 50 types of customer service enquiry. It meant that calls to the company’s call centre were down 9%.
The group also revealed that more people were using its app (up 9.4%). 41.4% of customers used its app versus its website, with the app making up 45.4% of total Very sales during the period.