The Very Group has reported a strong Christmas performance, with revenue up 11.5% on a two-year basis in the seven weeks to December 24.
The retailers sales grew 21.9% compared to two years ago, as it saw double digit growth in the electrical, home, and fashion and sports categories. However, group revenue was down 3.3% compared to the same period a year ago, due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions.
Very said its fastest Christmas order was processed and despatched in 18 minutes and 32 seconds by Skygate, which ran on 100% renewable energy during a peak trading period for the first time.
The retailers automated chatbot was also used by 137,000 customers a week, helping to reduce calls at the Very contact centre by 17% year on year.
Very, which primarily trades through its website, also saw strong online and app growth. In 2021, website visits increased by 32% year-on-year. App visits also increased by 129% year-on-year, reaching 34% in 2021, up from 30% in 2020 and 19% in 2019.
App sales also made up 40% of total sales in 2021, compared with 38% in 2020 and 32% in 2019.
“Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our people, we’ve delivered another amazing Christmas for our customers and strong trading results for the period,” Very Group chief executive officer Henry Birch said.
“Very recorded outstanding double-digit growth compared with the pre-pandemic festive season in 2019, as our customers enjoyed a more ‘normal’ Christmas. They bought back into fashion, focused on wellness, got their hands on the latest consoles and doubled-down on Christmas decorations to make up for last year’s more muted celebrations.
“Our performance was supported by our strong supplier and delivery partner relationships and our highly automated fulfilment centre Skygate, which enabled us to consistently deliver for our customers throughout the period.
“While the next 12 months will no doubt bring challenges as we all continue to navigate life around Covid-19, the last two years have shown that our model, which combines multi-category digital retail with our Very Pay platform, is both highly resilient and highly relevant. We’re going into the new year with great momentum and are well-set to keep building on our success.”