Shop Direct Group has said its new Very offer had a promising start, which was rebranded from Littlewoods Direct in July.

It said that its celebrity fashion offers, which it calls a “key driving force” behind its sales, were up 51% so far this season on last year, with many key pieces selling out.

It has a waiting list for its Holly Willoughby bustier and its Jasmine Guinness floral dress. Other bestsellers have included TV presenter Fearne Cotton’s range.

Shop Direct strongly refuted speculation that Very had a rocky start and wanted to reposition its offer.

Very is preparing to launch a Christmas marketing drive for Very and Shop Direct’s online reincarnation of Woolworths - which it bought in February this year.

Separately, Shop Direct’s Littlewoods and Woolworths brands have teamed up to supply products to troops serving in Afghanistan this Christmas.