Shop Direct-owned fashion etailer Very.co.uk has pushed the button on its international launch and expects that overseas business will be bigger than its domestic business in the next five to 10 years.
Shop Direct retail director Gareth Jones said the US will be Very’s biggest market out of its 48 countries it launched in this week.
He described the US market as “huge” and said there is a crossover between UK and US fashion. “It’s our biggest opportunity,” said Jones.
The young fashion brand, launched in 2009, turns over nearly £300m in the UK.
Jones expects its international business to break-even within two to three years.
He said the overseas launch comes at a time when the UK offers little scope for growth.
He said: “The two to three-year outlook for the UK is looking pretty bleak. The only place people are seeing growth is overseas.”
Shop Direct also aims to launch its mature brand Isme, alongside a plus-size offer – a first for Shop Direct – in the US within 12 to 18 months.
Jones said Very has made a “significant” investment in its marketing campaign in the States, with the lion’s share ploughed into PR.
The retailer has launched with an array of celebrities including star of US reality TV show The Hills, Whitney Port and host of So You Think You Can Dance Cat Deeley.
Very is offering free delivery, which Jones said would remove the biggest inhibitor to new customer acquisition, and free returns on orders over $98.
The retailer is also guaranteeing five-day delivery and offering a tracking service for customers.
Jones said he also expected its Australian site, which debuts early next year, to be one of the etailer’s biggest. The retailer additionally launched its UK discount site Brand Quarter last week.
Jones said that it was not pumping cash into the Brand Quarter venture as the group views overseas as its big opportunity.