Strong Christmas for Shop Direct

Shop Direct, the UK’s leading multi-brand online retailer, with brands including Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and isme.com, today provides a Christmas trading update for the six weeks to 29th December 2012.

Trading highlights:

  • Total sales for the six-week period (excl. VAT) up 5% on last year (against +3% for the 26 weeks to the end of 2012)
  • Continued focus on stock discipline, entering sale on 23rd December with 2% less stock
  • Week commencing 9th December the busiest of the year
  • More than 90,000 parcels delivered on Christmas Eve

Digital progress:

  • 80% of total sales completed online, up from 74% in 2011
  • Mobile devices accounted for 28% of all online sales – 150% higher than last year
  • 37% of all online customer interactions now via a mobile device
  • 8% increase in average mobile order value over last 12 months

Product highlights:

  • One tablet sold every 40 seconds during the six-week period – more than 91,000 in total
  • Tablet bug bites whole family – LeapPad 2 and InnoTab 2 kids’ tablets beat Furby into third place on the toy and gaming bestseller charts
  • Growing demand for own brand fashion with 140,000 own label dresses sold – up 32% on last year – with 24,000 of those from celebrity ranges including Myleene’s, Fearne’s and Holly’s
  • Customer appetite for SMART TVs begins to take off, with 6,000 units sold

Performance and outlook:

Group CEO, Alex Baldock, said:

“This Christmas was well ahead of last year against strong comparatives, demonstrating that our combination of great products, market-leading financial services and unique e-commerce capabilities is hitting the right note. Peak trading came later than ever, highlighting customers’ growing trust in the online and mobile retail model and our ability to deliver.

“These results provide a solid foundation for us to build on as we accelerate our trajectory to become a world-class digital department store.

“At a product level, 2012 was undoubtedly the year of the tablet. In the run-up to Christmas, we sold one tablet every 40 seconds, connecting more than 91,000 households over the festive season. This rapid and continued rise in tablet adoption was also reflected in our sales channel mix. Mobile devices accounted for a record 28% of our total online sales, with tablets driving two-thirds of those.

“Post-Christmas, we expect sales to slow as we head towards Easter and to remain broadly flat for the year. With consumer confidence remaining subdued, retailers will have to fight even harder to win market share. To ensure we remain a winner, we will continue to invest in delivering a great digital shopping experience for our millions of customers, whenever, wherever and however they choose to shop with us.”