Very Group has revealed strong trading during pre-Christmas sales in the seven week period covering Black Friday and Christmas.
In its latest update, Very Group reported that retail sales grew 2.2% against the corresponding period in 2021, when the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic drove strong performance among UK online retailers. Compared with the corresponding period in 2019 (pre-pandemic), Very retail sales grew 19.6%.
Toys, gifts and beauty (+17.7% YoY), and home (+10.2% YoY) were the standout categories – Toys on its own is up +26% YoY – and the retailer also credited new and improved technology for an increase in the number and speed of orders processed; the fastest order was processed in 10 minutes, 30 seconds at the group’s highly automated fulfilment centre, Skygate.
Lionel Desclée, group CEO, said that, despite economic challenges, toys was one area where customers did not seem to cut back on spending. He commented: “Our team pulled out all the stops to deliver an amazing Christmas for the families we serve and a strong trading performance for the period. We recorded year-on-year growth in Very and grew market share despite the challenging backdrop. As expected, our customers prioritised toys, gifts and beauty items for their loved ones, justifying our decision to invest in stock within the category.”
The company’s Q1 results, reported in November, revealed that the toys, gifts and beauty category was up +3.4%, saying it experienced “strong double digit growth in toys and personal care” over the quarter. At this point, Very toy sales were up 21% YOY, and on track for an excellent year’s sales.
In the latest results, the Group said its performance was underpinned by trusted supplier and delivery partner relationships as well as its highly automated fulfilment centre.
Lionel added: “The impact of the high cost of living will create challenges for all retailers in the year ahead, but we’re confident that our combination of online retail and flexible ways to pay will continue to offer our customers the convenience, value and flexibility they need.”