“Very is our powerhouse” says CEO over ShopDirect rebrand

ShopDirect is rebranding to The Very Group this year, it has been declared by the group chief executive Henry Birch at this year’s Retail Week Live.

Birch was talking at the opening day of the show which is currently taking place at the O2 Intercontinental in London, where he confirmed that there are no plans to close Littlewoods, stating it is a “robust and well-loved business that, if you took out of Shop Direct, would be the 11th or 12th pure play retailer in the UK.”

He added that Very is the group’s ‘powerhouse’ and continues to perform above market growth. “That’s why we are going to rebrand ShopDirect to The Very Group this year,” he said.

Birch was preceded on stage by Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna, who delivered the opening keynote, focusing on automation and the role it will be play in retail from a workforce viewpoint.

“Retailers play a special role in society – we are one of the biggest employment sectors, providing many people with their first jobs, and we have a responsibility to think about the future of work, the technology driving it and the impact it will have on people,” she opened.

McKenna called on the industry to take a collaborative approach in shaping the future of working in retail. Highlighting the Kinsey forecast that 60 per cent of jobs are expected to be affected in some way by automation, she added:

“Millions of people will have to transition to new jobs, do them differently or find new careers. Transition on that scale is scary but there’s no point turning the other way and pretend it’s not happening. Technology will help us to run better businesses and create economic growth, but it needs to be managed in the right way.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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