Shop Direct, the UK’s second biggest online pureplay retailer, with the Digital department stores Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and VeryExclusive.co.uk, provides a Christmas trading update for the seven weeks up to the 25th December 2015.
The retailer maintained its strong momentum with sales increasing by 6% year-on-year, significantly ahead of the market* and against strong comparative results last year.
In particular, Very.co.uk delivered exceptional growth of 17% year-on-year underpinned by its continued focus on a consistent strategy. This combines a unique combination of the world’s most famous brands, an easy and ever more personalised mobile shopping experience and unique, flexible ways to spread the cost.
Very.co.uk is on track to deliver over £1bn in sales this year, and Shop Direct is on track for another record year of sales and profit.
RECORD BREAKING TRADING FOR CHRISTMAS 2015
- Total group sales for the 7 week period (excluding VAT) were up 6% year-on-year (2014: up 4%)
- In the same period the non-food market grew only 0.3% year-on-year*
- Very.co.uk grew sales 17% like-for-like, on track to close the year as a £1bn business
- Trading highlights included:
- 82 million site visits, up 8% year-on-year
- The number 1 gift this Christmas was Fragrance with 284,000 units sold
- Category highlight was mobile phones which grew 74% year-on-year
- Clothing and Footwear sales were up 6% year-on-year despite unusually warm weather
- Black Friday sales up 64% year-on-year, 100% web stability, 4.2 million web visits
2015 WAS A MOBILE CHRISTMAS
- Being 100% Digital allowed a sharp focus on mobile, a channel which saw the fastest growing sales
- Very.co.uk sales via mobile devices grew 32% year-on-year
- Very.co.uk mobile sales total 63% of Christmas online sales, significantly ahead of the market
- 81% of customers were satisfied with their mobile shopping experience over Christmas**
- Mobile growth was fuelled by:
- Ongoing experimentation and innovation, led by an in house team of experts
- Black Friday, which was seamlessly brought to life on smaller screens for customers “on the move”
- Very’s new mobile app, with 600,000+ downloads and a 5 star rating in Apple’s store
STICKING TO THE CONSISTENT STRATEGY
- 100% Digital focus, no distraction from catalogues, no distraction from physical stores
- Now focused on 3 retail brands (Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and VeryExclusive.co.uk) down from 6 last year
- Continuing focus on what makes those brands special:
- Unbeatable department store range; with 1,100 famous brands and 70,000 lines
- Easy shopping experience; using Big Data to create an easy and more personalised journey
- Affordability; with competitive prices and options to spread the cost
THE PACE OF INNOVATION IN PERSONALISATION WILL ACCELERATE IN 2016
- Customers want the journey to be tailored to them, with irrelevant products and messages removed
- Shop Direct has invested significantly to combine Big Data with cutting edge technology and continuous experimentation to keep improving the personalised experience it offers customers
- Personalisation focuses on the marketing that brings her in, the shop she then enters and how we stay in touch with her after she’s shopped
SHOP DIRECT ANNOUNCES THE LATEST PHASE OF PERSONALISATION INNOVATION
- Shop Direct announces a new £50m Financial Services personalisation programme, in partnership with IBM. This will create ground-breaking capabilities that offer customers financial services products tailored to them
COMMENTING ON THE RESULTS, ALEX BALDOCK, GROUP CEO, SAID:
“Christmas 2015 was a record-breaker for Shop Direct, and we’re pleased to see our momentum continue to build.
“Received wisdom is that every retailer should be multi-channel. We don’t buy that. We like being a Digital pureplay. It allows us to keep things simple and focus our energy on mobile innovation, which has been a big factor in our record peak trading.
“Looking forward to 2016, we’ll stick to delivering our strategy of making good things easily accessible to more people. In particular, 2016 will be the year of personalisation for Shop Direct. Personalisation is at the heart of making the shopping experience ever easier for our customers, enabled by heavy investment in Big Data and technology which we expect to make a big impact in 2016.
“Today I’m proud to announce the latest stage of that investment: a new £50m personalisation programme for our Financial Services business, in partnership with IBM, which will bring us ground-breaking new capabilities.
“On the back of a strategy that’s working and a successful peak, we’re now well on track to deliver another record-breaking year of sales and profit.”
Shop Direct Heather Astbury 07880 096636
Dan Rubel 07880 714814
Brunswick Eilis Murphy 020 7404 5959
Helen Smith 020 7404 5959
NOTES TO EDITORS
* 7 weeks to 25th December, Total non-food, BRC Figures
** Shop Direct’s NPS Survey 9 weeks to 25th December 2015
ABOUT SHOP DIRECT
Shop Direct is the UK’s second largest pureplay online retailer, with annual sales of £1.8 billion. Our digital department store brands are Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and VeryExclusive.co.uk, and receive 1 million website visits a day, with over 63% of online sales completed on mobile devices.
We exist to make good things easily accessible to more people. With our department store range of famous brands, market-leading ecommerce and technology capabilities and unique financial services products offering flexible ways to pay, we’re well placed to deliver on that promise.
We sell more than 1,100 famous brands, including big name labels and our own exclusive brands. We have 4 million customers and deliver 48 million products every year. Our free click and collect service delivers to 5,800 stores across the country, increasing ease and convenience for customers.