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Shop Direct to follow up Very with younger brand

Home-shopping giant Shop Direct Group plans to launch another online brand and has unveiled a sales target of £500m for its newly launched Very website.

Plans for the new brand are at an early stage and details are unclear, but supplier sources told Drapers it is scheduled to launch next year. One source suggested the site would target the 18 to 25 age range, a new category for Shop Direct.

Shop Direct chief executive Mark Newton-Jones is understood to have told delegates at a supplier conference last week that group sales were up 8% year on year in the first few months of its new financial year, which started on May 1.

Shop Direct is targeting Very to hit £500 million sales by 2014. Very, a rebrand of the Littlewoods Direct site, aims to appeal to a younger 25-plus shopper. The Very site features design tie-ups with celebrities and online networking functions which enable customers to share opinions on product with buyers and designers.

The turnover target for Very is understood to be significantly higher than the revenue of Littlewoods Direct and would account for just under 30% of the group’s annual £1.78 billion turnover.

About 1.5 million customers on the group’s Littlewoods Direct database are being moved over to the new brand. Shop Direct will launch a print and TV advertising campaign for Very in the next few months.

Separately, Newton-Jones reportedly told suppliers that Shop Direct would aim to be the biggest online retailer in terms of traffic by Christmas. The top spot is currently held by eBay UK with the most UK site visits for the week ending July 4, with Amazon and Argos second and third respectively.

Shop Direct’s combined brands had a market share by traffic of 1.1% in UK traffic for the week to July 4, which places it sixth between Amazon at 1.0% and eBay’s main site at 1.1%.

Shop Direct Group will also launch a new European website,, at the end of this month which will target ex-pat communities living in Spain, Germany, France and Portugal, as revealed by Drapers on April 18.

UK web winners

The 10 most-visited UK websites for the week ending July 4
1. 22.0%
2. 4.9%
3. 1.8%
4. 1.4%
5. 1.1%
6. Shop Direct 1.1%
(combined sites)
7. 1.0%
8. 1.0%
9. 0.9%
10. 0.8%

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