The Very Group said total group revenue decreased to £1,667.2m ($2,120.6m) and fashion and sports declined 4.9% for the 39 weeks ending 30 March 2024.

The Very Group delivered £580.8m in gross profit, which was a slight decline from last year’s £583.8m. It also reported a 3.8% rise in EBITDA to £197.4m “despite the ongoing tough market conditions”, while its margin rose to 11.8% from the prior 11.3%.

Very UK revenue growth remained positive, up 1.0% to £1,440.6m for the Q3 year to date period, but it has decelerated over the financial year, explained GlobalData retail analyst Tash Van Boxel.

The UK retailer attributed this decline to a “heavily promotional environment for fashion” in particular however, this was not the case for premium fashion which rose by 19.4%.

Boxel believes the UK retailer should continue to expand its premium fashion range to support its sales after 68% of consumers stated they bought more or the same amount of premium clothing in the last 12 months in a recent GlobalData consumer survey.

She would urge The Very Group to continue promoting its financial services to bolster average basket size and boost spending and explained: “In the lead-up to wedding season and the summer months, consumers are likely to welcome the reprieve on their finances by being able to spread the cost. Very must focus on campaigns such as its Flamingo-themed summer marketing campaign to take advantage of this and ensure it is a destination across its range.”

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Boxel highlighted that Very’s difficulties in the sector could be related to consumers turning to multichannel players who offer delivery services like click and collect.

While she believes delivery options such as nominated day delivery could support growth, allowing consumers greater flexibility on when they are home, Boxel says: “This incurs a high charge at Very and it could act as a deterrent for conversion if shoppers are unsure they will be in to receive an order.”

A 0.8% drop in total revenue was down to a continued decrease in its Littlewoods sales which fell 11.9% to £174.5m. The fall however fell in line with expectations as part of an ongoing “decline strategy” for the brand.

In April, the group named Robbie Feather as its new CEO succeeding Lionel Desclée, who had chosen to step down to pursue new opportunities.