Very Group hunts data experts as Shop Direct is axed

very groupIt has been nearly 10 months in the making, but Shop Direct has finally rebranded to the Very Group as the online retail giant kick starts the next stage of its digital transformation, including the creation of 150 new data and tech jobs.

The rebrand, which was flagged up in March last year, was created by St Luke’s and the Very Group’s in-house creative team, and sees the corporate brand fall in line with the established pink cube branding.

The company can trace its roots back nearly 100 years to the launch of the UK mail order giants, including Littlewoods, the Liverpool pools and retail group founded by John Moores, as well as Great Universal Stores and Kays Catalogues.

The group was created following the 2003 Barclay brothers’ buyout, and initially became Littlewoods Shop Direct; it launched in 2007.

Shop Direct embarked on a major digital transformation as far back as 2012, under then chief executive Alex Baldock who ditched printed catalogues and invested heavily in technology and data to boost personalisation techniques to attract and retain customers.

Last year, the group appointed a new tech leadership team, headed by former Sky Betting & Gaming chief Andy Burton to ramp up its digital transformation, with a 275-strong technology team.

It is now embarking on another major recruitment drive for new roles in data and technology. Hundreds more roles will also be made up for grabs at the company’s fulfilment centre in the East Midlands, which is to become operational later this year.

The Very Group now describes itself as “the UK’s largest pureplay digital retailer” and financial services provider, with annual revenues of £2bn and over four million customers. However, its finance division was hit hard last year by a last-minute £241m PPI  compensation bill.

Chief executive Henry Birch said: “This rebrand builds on over 100 years of history during which time we’ve gone from catalogues to bricks to clicks to mobile.

“We’ve always had a passion for reinvention and becoming The Very Group is another important part of our story. We want to be the number one destination for shoppers who value flexible ways to pay.

“We’ll achieve that by constantly improving what we do, innovating with data and technology at our core, and delivering the best experience for our customers and our colleagues.”

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