Shop Direct celebrates a Very (.co.uk) Merry Christmas
Shop Direct has ridden the crest of a digital wave to record sales this Christmas courtesy of year-on-year digital sales growth of 14 per cent, now accounting for 84 per cent of total sales versus 80 per cent a year ago.
This was driven largely by its Very.co.uk and isme.com platforms which delivered a combined sales uptick of 27 per cent as shoppers spurned the High Street to shop from their sofas.
The multi-brand online retailer saw total group sales for the six week period to 27 December rise 5 per cent on last year, off-setting a combined 5 per cent sales decline for heritage brands Littlewoods.com and Kandco.com.
A key growth driver has been the rise of mobile, which now outnumbers desktop traffic for the first time having reached 52 per cent – up from just 37 per cent last year.
Group CEO, Alex Baldock, said: “Our newer brands, Very.co.uk and isme.com, once again outpaced the market with sales growth of 27%. For that, we can thank our strongest ever product offering, with the likes of Adidas, Apple, Babyliss, Samsung, Superdry and UGG among our best sellers.
“We also made big strides in ecommerce. Mobile exploded as a source of both traffic and sales. More than half of all visits to our websites came from smartphones and tablets this Christmas. By 2015, we expect every transaction to involve a mobile device at some point in the customer journey. It’s hard to overstate how important this trend is, and we mean to stay on top of it.
“The retail market has been highly promotional. We’ve responded selectively, but we’ve kept our discipline in stock and cost control, and are ahead of our EBITDA and profit targets. Looking forward, we will continue to invest to build a world class digital retailer. Our outlook for the rest of 2013-14 does remain cautious, though: we’re not banking on this market being any less challenging.”