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Record sales reported by Shop Direct

18 January 2017 - 10:08 by Sarah Collinson

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People shopping online in greater numbers than ever before over the Christmas period in 2016 helped Shop Direct to experience a healthy increase in e-commerce sales, according to the Telegraph.

The firm, which owns online outlets including Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, also noted the influence of mobile shopping on the market, with sales up by almost a tenth in the final quarter of the year.

Very.co.uk is experiencing the biggest uptick in activity, with sales increasing by close to a fifth. Meanwhile, Shop Direct spokesperson, Alex Baldock, confirmed that safe shopping online was the main catalyst for this growth.

Furthermore, he said that the rise of smartphone shopping was helping to fuel the e-commerce market as a whole, with mobile sales dominating Very.co.uk’s books. Seventy per cent of all purchases made on the site in 2016 came from either smartphones or tablet devices.

Industry analysts have been surprised by the success of the UK’s retail market last year, especially in the wake of the Brexit vote. But there are many who suggest that the only reason that it is continuing to grow is as a result of the shift to the web.

This week also saw projections which show that if current trends continue, up to half of all high street stores could close over the next 13 years, leaving the bricks and mortar market in a very different state by 2030.

Retailers which operate solely in the e-commerce space will be actively assisted by this shift in consumer priorities, while those that straddle both sides of the market will have a tougher time adapting.

Very.co.uk is exactly the kind of retail brand that will benefit, as it reported that over 400,000 new customers made use of its site in the weeks before the festive season last year.