The Very Group has welcomed a period of “strong” trading in the run-up to Christmas, with sales increasing 21.9% in the seven-week period ended 24 December 2021.
In light of the effects of the pandemic last Christmas, its latest results were given against its sales two years ago.
As more customers returned to the business, its retail sales witnessed double-digit growth across all four key product categories: electrical (+28.2%), home (+24.5%), fashion & sports (+17.7%) and developing categories (+12.2%).
In particular, the group reported a “significant recovery” in fashion and sports, and continued growth in developing categories compared with the prior year.
Nonetheless, electrical and home declined year-on-year, largely driven by the normalisation of these categories following last year’s pandemic-driven peaks.
Despite supply chain issues affecting much of the retail sector across the period, Very said it maintained good stock availability throughout the period. It attributed this to strong supply chain relationships with Yodel, Arrow XL and Royal Mail, as well as 477 shipping containers, holding circa 2.2 million individual items, arriving direct to its fulfilment centre via rail between 1 September and 24 December 2021.
Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: “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 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.”
He added: “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.”