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Shop Direct enjoys record Christmas driven by 'stellar' growth in mobile

Shop Direct, the owner of Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and Isme.com, has reported record trading over the festive period with group sales rising by 5% in the six weeks to 27 December 2013.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Shop Direct enjoys record Christmas driven by 'stellar' growth in mobile

The group said the increase was driven by “stellar” growth in sales via smartphones and tablets.

Shop Direct’s newer brands Very.co.uk and Isme.com delivered a combined retail sales increase of 27% in the period although Littlewoods.com and KandCo.com saw a combined sales decline of 5%.

The week commencing Saturday 30 November was the busiest week of the year for the group with Cyber Monday on 2 December being the busiest day.

Shop Direct said it had made strong progress in digital sales in the six week period with year-on-year sales growth of 14%. This took the group’s online sales to 84% of total sales, up from 80% in the same period last year. 

Mobile sales surged by 64% and accounted for 43% of online sales, against 28% last year. Shop Direct said website traffic from mobile devices beat desktop for the first time at 52%, growing from 37% in the same period last year.

Group chief executive 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.”

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