Shop Direct to launch luxury etailer under Very brand
The move follows the appointment of My-Wardrobe.com founder Sarah Curran last year who was given the task of accelerating the development of Shop Direct’s luxury strategy.
Aimed at women between the ages of 26 and 35, VeryExclusive.co.uk will launch during London Fashion Week in February 2015 and will focus on women’s clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty.
The accessible luxury arm of the website will offer diffusion and second lines from designer fashion and luxury beauty brands, including the likes of Marc by Marc Jacobs, McQ, Red Valentino, Carven, Kenzo, See by Chloe, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and J Brand Jeans.
Meanwhile, the high street luxury division will focus on premium high street brands and the ‘luxe’ collections of high street retailers, such as Reiss. The beauty offer will include brands such as Stila, T3, Bliss, Elemis and Laura Mercier.
Shop Direct has made a number of high profile appointments to bolster the team behind the new venture which will be led by Curran. The brand’s fashion buying will be headed up by Vikki Kavanagh who joined earlier in the summer from Harvey Nichols, and the beauty team will be led in a consultancy capacity by Clare Morgan, a former head of beauty at Harrods.
Shop Direct’s Hugh Longland will oversee strategic brand partnerships while content development for the site will be handled by Emily London, who is set to join as editor-in-chief from her role as London editor of American style website Refinery 29. Style blogger Simon Glazin will be the team’s social editor and Lauren Stevenson, the former head of PR and communications at Harrods, will handle PR and communications.
Curran is also actively recruiting for a number of further roles across buying, trading and creative. Once complete, the satellite team for Very Exclusive will be based in Shop Direct’s offices on London’s Pollen Street and will be supported by the wider capability in its head office in Liverpool.
Shop Direct group retail and strategy director Gareth Jones will oversee the development of Very Exclusive while reporting to chief executive Alex Baldock.
Jones said: “It’s extremely clear to us that there’s a real appetite – both among existing customers of Very.co.uk and women who don’t currently shop with our brands – to shop a standalone luxury site and have the option to spread the cost.
“We’ve also been delighted with the reaction from the luxury brands we’ve spoken to, who’ve seen immediately that Very Exclusive offers them the opportunity to access a customer base that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to buy their products outright. We’re confident that Very Exclusive is going to be a massive success.”
Curran added: “We believe Very Exclusive is going to go down a storm with stylish women across the UK and are throwing our full weight behind the brand. We couldn’t be more excited to see the reaction when we push the button next spring.”
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