Outstanding performance of Very.co.uk and continued mobile surge drive another record Christmas at Shop Direct

Shop Direct, the UK’s leading multi-brand online retailer, with digital department stores including Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, provides a Christmas trading update for the seven weeks up to and including Friday 26th December 2014.

STRONG TRADING
• Total group sales for the seven-week period (excl. VAT) were up 4% year-on-year, on the back of extremely strong comparatives
o Flagship brand Very.co.uk led the charge with a 23% surge in sales
o This balanced a profitably managed sales decline of 11% within heritage brands Littlewoods.com and KandCo.com

RECORD-BREAKING BLACK FRIDAY
• Black Friday became the busiest trading day on record, with orders at Very.co.uk up 134% year-on-year
• Demand across the group outstripped the previous daily trading record (Cyber Monday 2013) by 51%
• 22nd December saw a late surge, with demand up 47% year-on-year
• Boxing Day was another big hit, with demand up 21% as customers shopped the sale

CONTINUED DIGITAL MOMENTUM
• Digital sales increased to 89% of the total (2013: 84%)
• Sales via mobile devices grew by 45%, representing 56% of online (2013: 42%)
• Website visits increased by 18% to 76 million, with mobile devices accounting for almost two thirds of all traffic at 64% (2013: 52%)
• New Very.co.uk app launched to further capitalise on the mobile boom, offering simpler functionality and order tracking, along with innovative image recognition technology

A CLICK AND COLLECT CHRISTMAS
• Strong growth in click and collect, with number of parcels delivered to a Collect+ store up by 112%
• 72% of parcels delivered free of charge
• Customers took advantage of the late 10pm order cut-off on 23rd December, with over 160,000 items delivered on Christmas Eve

WIDE RANGE OF BESTSELLERS
• Biggest ever range drove increase in sales, with 946 brands on offer, including new labels Boss Orange, Juicy Couture, Sonos, NutriBullet, Fitbit, Rotary and Beauty Works
• A truly ‘Frozen’ Christmas, with one of the Disney-branded items selling every 16 seconds – over 260,000 in total
• Another console Christmas as gamers snapped up over 175,000 PlayStation 4s and Xbox Ones – more than double last year
• Fancy footwear was a festive feature, with a pair of Converse or UGGs sold every 33 seconds
• Highest growth categories during the period, thanks to significant expansion of ranges, were jewellery and watches (+17%), beauty (+16%), gifts and entertainment (+8%) and toys (+8%)

Alex Baldock, group CEO, said:
“It was another record Christmas at Shop Direct and Very.co.uk once again led the charge.

“We continue to capitalise on the shift to mobile. Our customers shopped on the go this Christmas and our new Very.co.uk app will make this even easier for them.

“We like Black Friday. It was huge for us and acted as a starting gun for Christmas shopping – peak came earlier than in recent years. Traders like ourselves will thrive in the environment that Black Friday creates and we’re happy that it’s here to stay.

“The highly promotional market looks set to continue into 2015. We’ll continue to make sure we’re offering customers great deals while maintaining sales and profit growth.

“We’ve got lots to look forward to in 2015. Our new brand, Very Exclusive, is set to democratise luxury. We’ve also got big things planned in data analytics, personalisation and financial services. Our transformation into a world class digital retailer continues.”

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS
Shop Direct 0844 292 4799

James Evans
Lauren Young
Gemma Goldfingle

Brunswick 0207 404 5959

Simon Sporborg
Helen Smith
Oliver Sherwood

ABOUT SHOP DIRECT
Shop Direct is the UK’s fourth largest online retailer, with annual sales of more than £1.7 billion. Our digital department store brands include Very.co.uk, which is now a £800 million brand, and receive over a million website visits every day.

We exist to make good things easily accessible to more people. With our department store range, market-leading ecommerce and technology capabilities and unique financial services offer, we’re well placed to deliver on that promise.

We sell over 940 famous brands, including big name labels and our own exclusive brands, and deliver 48 million products to our four million customers every year. Our click and collect service, Collect+, delivers to more than 5,500 stores across the country, increasing ease and convenience for customers.

For more information on Shop Direct, visit www.shopdirect.com or follow us on Twitter at @ShopDirect.