Online retailer Very.co.uk has reported record-breaking Christmas sales.
Sales climbed 25.2% year-on-year in the seven weeks up to and including Christmas Day at the Liverpool-headquartered site, part of integrated online retailer and financial services provider The Very Group.
Retail sales across the group, which also operates Littlewoods.com, grew 18.1%. Overall revenue, including financial services income, at Very increased 23.3% year-on-year, while overall group revenue grew 15.3% year-on-year to surpass £500m for the period for the first time.
The standout categories on flagship site Very.co.uk were home and electrical, up 46.2% and 44.8% respectively, which the firm suggested may have been due to people spending disposable income on their homes while under COVID-19 restrictions.
Games sales were up 106.4% following the launches of PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
Very.co.uk added more than 500,000 new customers and processed 3.9m orders – peaking at 265 orders per minute – through the group’s new highly automated fulfilment centre, which launched in March 2020.
With 150,000 customers a week using the AI-enabled Very Assistant chatbot, the firm said customer service performance improved while human contact with customers reduced 25% year-on-year.
Henry Birch, CEO at The Very Group, said: “We are delighted with Very’s outstanding performance, which shows UK families were more determined than ever to celebrate this Christmas, despite all the challenges of 2020.
“Because we sell everything our customers could possibly want except food, are online only and offer a range of payment options, we were perfectly placed to help a record number of people make the most of the festive period.
“Christmas shopping started early at Very and our committed team worked tirelessly to deliver for our customers. Continued appetite for entertaining the family and home improvement during the pandemic resulted in strong growth across our electrical and home categories, in particular.
“Our record-breaking performance was supported by our new fulfilment centre, which processed 3.9m orders during peak; an incredible achievement for a facility that only launched in March this year, when the first national lockdown was announced.
“While the economic picture remains unpredictable, we have strong momentum as we begin the year. I believe our resilient, flexible and proven business model, which is online, multicategory and offers customers flexible payment options, will continue to help us thrive in 2021.”