Shop Direct delivers Very merry Christmas as online orders boom

 
Kasmira Jefford
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LITTLEWOODS owner Shop Direct yesterday said sales surged over the Christmas period as Black Friday became its busiest shopping day.

The online and catalogue retailer, owned by billionaire brothers Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, said sales across its biggest website Very.co.uk were up 134 per cent year-on-year on the US-style shopping day.

Chief executive Alex Baldock said: “We like Black Friday. It was huge for us and acted as a starting gun for Christmas shopping – peak came earlier than in recent years.”

Total group sales for the seven weeks to 26 December rose four per cent compared with the same period last year.

Sales at Very.co.uk surged 23 per cent, offsetting an 11 per cent decline across its heritage brands Littlewoods.com and KandCo.com.

The company has been moving more online, replacing orders taken by phone with online transactions, reducing call centre staff and scaling back the distribution of its catalogues.

Digital sales increased to 89 per cent of the total while sales through mobile devices grew by 45 per cent, representing 56 per cent of online sales. The number of parcels delivered through click and collect also jumped by 112 per cent.