Festive cheer for Very Group as customers return for a ‘normal Christmas’

Online retailer The Very Group has announced a former Walmart executive as its new chair as it revealed a cheery festive season.

The Merseyside-based firm reported a sales uplift of nearly 22% in the run up to Christmas including the Black Friday promotional period.

Very retail sales saw double-digit growth across electrical (+28.2%), home (+24.5%), fashion & sports (+17.7% ) and developing categories (+12.2%).

It also hailed “significant recovery” in fashion and sports and developing categories which includes beauty and wellbeing.

The group also announced the appointment of Dirk Van den Berghe as non-executive chair. In his most recent executive roles with Walmart, which he joined in 2014, Van den Berghe was responsible for Walmart’s business in Canada, China, India and Japan.

Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: “Very recorded outstanding double-digit growth compared with the pre-pandemic festive season in 2019, as our customers enjoyed a more ‘normal’ Christmas.

“They bought back into fashion, focused on wellness, got their hands on the latest consoles and doubled-down on Christmas decorations to make up for last year’s more muted celebrations.”

He added: “While the next 12 months will no doubt bring challenges as we all continue to navigate life around Covid-19, the last two years have shown that our model, which combines multi-category digital retail with our Very Pay platform, is both highly resilient and highly relevant.

“We’re going into the new year with great momentum and are well-set to keep building on our success.”

Commenting on his appointment Dirk Van den Berghe said: “The business has transformed into a digital leader in the UK and Ireland, and is ideally positioned to benefit from increasing consumer demand for both online shopping and flexible payments.

“I look forward to working closely with the board to deliver profitable growth over the years ahead.”

The group said it remained focused on earnings and liquidity and will update the market on its progress at H1 results in February 2022.

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