Shop Direct Group has said electricals and partywear helped it deliver strong Christmas sales, up 6.3% in the six weeks to January 1.
The home shopping group, which operates the Woolworths.co.uk, Very and Littlewoods brands, said it delivered 8 million items over the period.
Group chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said it had been a good Christmas as the consumer had “pent up demand” after a difficult year pitted with bad news that affected confidence.
He said electricals sales soared 30%, and in fashion, its ranges with sequins sold particularly well, with its sequin dress from its Holly Willoughby range its best fashion seller.
Newton-Jones said “a lot of extra stock came our way, particularly in electricals”, which other retailers could not take. He said that while fashion growth online remained strong, growth in electricals was stronger. In the six weeks to Christmas the group sold 70,000 iPods and 40,000 laptop computers.
Volumes for its rebranded Very site jumped 26% on last year when it traded as Littlewoods Direct.
Newton-Jones said sales on its Woolworths site, particularly in toys and childrenswear, had been “phenomenal”, with sales growth in its busiest week - the second week of December - up four times normal levels.
He claimed sales at Woolworths for its first year of trading would exceed what the collapsed Woolworths made online when it was in operation. However, he declined to reveal what that figure was.
Newton-Jones forecast that 2010 would be pretty tough. “With the potential government change and government deficit it will be a difficult year,” he said.
He added that if VAT was to rise to 20% after the election, it would “really hurt” as it would be such a significant leap on last year.
One of Shop Direct’s key aims for 2010 will be to expand Littlewoods Europe to more countries and look at taking some of its other brands to new markets for the first time.