Online retailer Very.co.uk sees record-breaking Christmas trading period

The multi-category online retailer, Very.co.uk, has posted record-breaking Christmas and Black Friday results, having increased retail sales by 25.8 per cent year on year in the seven weeks up and including December 25th 2020.

The Group has cited the results as its ‘best ever Christmas trading period’ following strong trading throughout 2020.

The brand is owned by the UK’s largest integrated online retailer and financial services provider The Very Group, which also operates Littlewoods.com.

The home and electrical product categories emerged as standout categories for the retail group over the period, with each seeing increases of 46.2 per cent and 44.8 per cent respectively. Very.co.uk saw an influx of more than 500,000 new customers over the period, a trend driven by the stay at home messaging and the surge in online shopping owing to the coinciding lockdown across England ahead of Christmas last year.

As a result, website visits grew by 139 million, an increase of 49.7 per cent year on year, while sales via the Very mobile increased 33 per cent year on year.

Retail sales for the Black Friday promotional period (6 November to 2 December) grew by 25.8 per cent and web traffic increased 55 per cent year-on-year, representing Very’s best ever Black Friday period.

On the matter of Brexit, the Group has stated that it was ‘well-prepared’ and ‘has seen no significant operational impact as a result of the new UK-EU trading relationship.’

Of the key trends observed by Very.co.uk over the period, family entertainment emerged as a leading factor as customers prioritised family with electrical sales seeing a stark increase. This was buoyed by gaming (p four per cent) following the launches of PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

Including Littlewoods, group retail sales grew 18.1 per cent in the seven weeks to 25 December 2020.

Revenue, including financial services income, at Very increased 23.3 per cent year-on-year, while overall group revenue grew 15.3 per cent year-on-year to surpass £500m for the period for the first time.

Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: “We are delighted with Very’s outstanding performance, which shows UK families were more determined than ever to celebrate this Christmas, despite all the challenges of 2020. Because we sell everything our customers could possibly want except food, are online only and offer a range of payment options, we were perfectly placed to help a record number of people make the most of the festive period.

“Christmas shopping started early at Very and our committed team worked tirelessly to deliver for our customers. Continued appetite for entertaining the family and home improvement during the pandemic resulted in strong growth across our electrical and home categories, in particular.

“Our record-breaking performance was supported by our new fulfilment centre, which processed 3.9m orders during peak; an incredible achievement for a facility that only launched in March this year, when the first national lockdown was announced.

“While the economic picture remains unpredictable, we have strong momentum as we begin the year. I believe our resilient, flexible and proven business model, which is online, multicategory and offers customers flexible payment options, will continue to help us thrive in 2021.”

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