After bringing in my-wardrobe.com founder Sarah Curran MBE last year to accelerate the development of its luxury strategy, Shop Direct has announced plans to launch a standalone etail brand offering edited collections and products from accessible and high street luxury fashion and beauty brands.
VeryExclusive.co.uk will launch during London Fashion Week in February 2015 and will focus on women’s clothing, footwear, accessories and beauty.
The accessible luxury arm of Very Exclusive will offer diffusion and second lines from designer fashion and luxury beauty brands, including the likes of Marc by Marc Jacobs, McQ, Red Valentino, Carven, Kenzo, See by Chloe, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania and J Brand Jeans. The high street luxury division will focus on premium high street brands and the ‘luxe’ collections of high street retailers, such as Reiss. The beauty offer will include brands such as Stila, T3, Bliss, Elemis and Laura Mercier.
The core target audience for Very Exclusive will be women aged 26 to 35. The brand will offer an account with a representative APR of 18.9% and will also retain Very.co.uk’s USP of ‘Take 3’, which enables customers to spread the cost of their purchases across three monthly, interest-free payments.
Led by Curran, a number of high profile team appointments have been made to bolster the team behind Very Exclusive. The brand’s fashion buying is headed up by Vikki Kavanagh, who joined earlier in the summer from Harvey Nichols. Leading the beauty team in a consultancy capacity is Clare Morgan, who was formerly head of beauty at Harrods.
With a wealth of experience at Shop Direct, Hugh Longland is overseeing strategic brand partnerships and marketing for Very Exclusive. Heading up content development for the site will be Emily London, who is set to join as editor-in-chief from her role as London editor of American style website, Refinery29. Leading style blogger, Simon Glazin, joins the team as social editor. Looking after PR and communications for the brand in a consultancy role is Lauren Stevenson, who was most recently head of PR and communications at Harrods.
Curran is also actively recruiting for a number of further roles across buying, trading and creative. Once complete, the satellite team for Very Exclusive will be based in Shop Direct’s offices on Pollen Street, London, and supported by the wider capability in its head office in Liverpool.
Overseeing the development of Very Exclusive on behalf of Shop Direct’s executive board and reporting in to CEO, Alex Baldock, is group retail and strategy director, Gareth Jones. Gareth said: “Shop Direct’s edge as a digital retailer in a keenly competitive marketplace is our range of famous brands combined with unique ways to pay and a seamless, ever more personalised customer journey.
“When it comes to famous brands, we already sell more than any other UK retailer. Over the last couple of years, we’ve brought on board new premium brands like UGG, GHD and Hunter, and they’ve rapidly become best sellers for us. With that in mind, we brought Sarah in to the business towards the end of last year to explore the options to accelerate our luxury strategy.
“After months of market research and testing, it’s extremely clear to us that there’s a real appetite – both among existing customers of Very.co.uk and women who don’t currently shop with our brands – to shop a standalone luxury site and have the option to spread the cost. We’ve also been delighted with the reaction from the luxury brands we’ve spoken to, who’ve seen immediately that Very Exclusive offers them the opportunity to access a customer base that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to buy their products outright. We’re confident that Very Exclusive is going to be a massive success.”
Sarah Curran, managing director of Very Exclusive, said: “With Very Exclusive, we’ll be looking to offer a curated edit, along with our favourite must-have pieces of each collection that will fit perfectly into every woman’s wardrobe. As well as offering the option to spread the cost, there’ll also be a keen focus on accessible price points. The site itself will provide a rich editorial experience that will guide women through the season’s collections, trends and key looks.
“We believe Very Exclusive is going to go down a storm with stylish women across the UK and are throwing our full weight behind the brand. We couldn’t be more excited to see the reaction when we push the button next spring.”
Shop Direct: Helen Smith 0207 936 7419 / 07515 187419
VeryExclusive.co.uk: Lauren Stevenson 07834 458055
About Shop Direct
Shop Direct is the UK’s leading multi-brand digital retailer, with annual sales of £1.7 billion. Our digital department store brands include Very.co.uk, a £700 million brand growing at 20% each year, and receive an average of 950,000 website visits every day.
We exist to make good things easily accessible to more people. With our department store range, market-leading ecommerce and technology capabilities and unique financial services offer, we’re well placed to deliver on that promise.
We sell more famous brands than any other UK retailer, including big name labels and our own exclusive brands, and deliver 48 million parcels each year.