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LEGO, L.O.L. Surprise among brands powering Very

Online retailer marks tenth birthday, revealing toy sales have doubled in last four years.

LEGO, L.O.L. Surprise and Nintendo Switch are among the top selling brands that have helped online retailer become a £1.4 billion revenue brand over the last decade.

Very – which is marking its tenth birthday having launched on July 5, 2009 – receives over one million website visits every day and has increased the quality and number of brands available to 1,800.

In Shop Direct’s most recent annual results, for the year ended June 30 2018, Very’s revenue increased 10% to £1.4bn and the brand had 2.8m active customers.

Fashion brands have played a key role in the retailer’s success – it sells more than 500 and also launched its own brand – V by Very – in 2016, which accounts for more than a third of Very’s total fashion sales today.

Among the top selling fashion items of the last decade are UGG boots, Converse trainers and V by Very leggings, while sportswear sales have doubled in the last four years. The electrical division has doubled the number of brands available since 2009, with top selling products including Apple’s iPad Mini and the Nintendo Switch console.

The last four years have also seen toy sales double, thanks to a mix of long-term favourites like LEGO and new brands such as L.O.L. Surprise. Meanwhile, bedroom furniture and towels have been top items in the home division, which has seen over a million individual Silentnight products sold to date.

Very has also used brand ambassadors and celebrity collaborations to its advantage. TV presenters Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton were the first ambassadors in 2009, followed by singer and TV presenter Rochelle Humes in 2014 and actress Michelle Keegan, who came aboard in September 2018.

Celebrity collaborations over the last decade include presenter and activist Jameela Jamil, singer Kimberley Walsh and, most recently, model and TV personality Kate Wright, who collaborated with Very on a summer fashion edit in June 2019.

“Very’s growth since its launch in 2009 has been nothing short of outstanding,” said Henry Birch, group ceo at Shop Direct. “But the story for Very is only just beginning.

“By listening to what our customers want, offering them outstanding service and ways to pay, and investing in our technology and systems to stay ahead of trends, we believe we’ll take Very to the next level.”

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