Very – formerly Littlewoods Direct

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Now part of the Shop Direct portfolio of retailers that also includes Littlewoods, Isme and K&Co – Very has become one of the UK’s premier online shops.

With head offices in Speke (in Liverpool), Very was originally formed as a rebranded version of Littlewood Direct – and almost because of this, has become one of the companies to have benefitted from the decline of other traditional catalogue stores such as Argos, Index and Grattan.

Largely marketed at a younger audience through adverts starring Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton, the company sells own-branded ranges of men’s and women’s clothing, as well as toys, jewellery and consumer electronics.

Some of their most popular lines have come from celebrity designed clothing by the likes of Kimberley Walsh, Jameela Jamil and Diana Vickers – a method that competitors Boohoo and ASOS have begun to copy. This image has been reinforced by sponsorship of Celebrity Big Brother (a deal which included product placement) and advertisement around Virgin’s V Festival.

Despite their rebranding, Very offer many of the old services that its catalogue predecessors did – with personal finance and loan options available at the point of purchase. Perhaps their most popular scheme is their buy now, pay later option, which allows customers to get high-value items such as the Xbox One and PS4 without having to deposit the full value of the product immediately.