Fashion and sport sales at The Very Group have experienced a decline in recent weeks, but there is a silver lining as womenswear sales have actually increased. From the seven weeks leading up to December 23, retail sales across Very.co.uk and Littlewoods saw a decline of 1.3% compared to the previous year. However, Very.co.uk as a whole saw its total sales increase by 2.2% compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic hit.

While overall fashion and sport sales fell by 6.6%, there was a notable increase in womenswear sales by 4.8% and menswear by 1.3%. Interestingly, the beauty and home categories were the main drivers of sales during the Black Friday and Christmas periods, with a significant increase of 17.7%. Toys performed incredibly well, with a remarkable 26% rise in sales, while beauty and fragrance also saw a strong increase of 12.7%. Home sales also saw growth, specifically furniture with a 14.4% increase and homewares such as textiles and home accessories with an 11.2% increase.

When it comes to Very’s online presence, the company saw a 9.4% increase in app visits compared to the previous year. In fact, app sales accounted for 45.4% of total sales, surpassing the previous year’s figure of 39.9%. The company’s highly automated fulfilment centre, Skygate, showcased its efficiency by processing the fastest order of Christmas 2022 in just 10 minutes and 30 seconds. On the busiest day of the peak period, November 22, the centre managed to process a whopping 216,000 items.

CEO Lionel Desclée expressed satisfaction with The Very Group’s performance, particularly emphasizing the growth at Very and its increased market share despite the challenging circumstances. The company had already anticipated that shoppers would prioritize toys, gifts, and beauty items during the festive season and made investments accordingly. Desclée also recognized the importance of maintaining strong relationships with trusted suppliers and delivery partners, as well as the efficiency of the highly automated fulfilment centre in meeting customer expectations.

However, Desclée did acknowledge that the high cost of living could pose challenges for retailers in the coming year. Nevertheless, The Very Group remains optimistic about its ability to adapt and continue meeting customer demands.

Useful Links:
1. Very.co.uk
2. Littlewoods