Record peak trading for online retail giant Very Group

Online retailer Very.co.uk posted record figures for the seven weeks to Christmas, its best ever trading period.

The 25.2% year-on-year sales boost follows strong trading throughout 2020 for the group based in Speke, South Liverpool.

The brand is owned by online retailer and financial services provider The Very Group, which also operates Littlewoods.com.

Very said home and electrical were the standout categories, with sales up 46.2% and 44.8% respectively, while it attracted more than 500,000 new customers, up 25.5% year-on-year.

There were 139m website visits, up 49.7% year-on-year, with 100% site resilience in a period that also included the annual Black Friday shopping event.

Retail sales for the Black Friday promotional period – November 6, to December 2 – were up 25.8% and web traffic up 55% year-on-year, representing Very’s best ever Black Friday period.

There were 3.9m orders processed – peaking at 265 orders per minute – through the group’s new highly-automated fulfilment centre, which launched in March 2020

The group also delivered up to an industry-leading Christmas cut-off time of 7pm on 22 December

It also revealed it was well prepared for Brexit and has seen no significant operational impact as a result of the new UK-EU trading relationship.

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

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

Chief executive Henry Birch 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.”

He added: “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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