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Very Group completes migration to 'highly automated' fulfilment centre

By Huw Hughes

29 Jul 2021

Retail

Image: Very

Very Group, the parent company of online retailer Very, has completed the shift of all its clothing and footwear returns to a new, “highly automated” fulfilment centre in the East Midlands.

The group said the move means products will be available for re-sale within 30 minutes and refunds will be provided “faster than ever before”.

The migration from its previous location in Chadderton, Greater Manchester took three months to complete.

The new 850,000 square foot fulfilment centre, called Skygate, was first launched in March 2020, and has since shipped 20 million items and 8.1 million orders in its first full year in operation.

Very Group said Skygate has orders ready for dispatch within 30 minutes of being placed by a customer, compared to around four hours at its previous fulfilment centres.

Skygate is now responsible for 95 percent of the group’s orders, housing six million items and processing 750,000 products every week

“Across the retail industry, clothing and footwear return rates tend to be higher than for other categories, but also simpler to process,” said Very Group chief operating officer Phil Hackney in a release.

“Bringing them under the same roof as our fulfilment operation at Skygate, where they can benefit from our market-leading automated technology, makes perfect sense for our customers and our business.”

Hackney added the timing comes ahead of the important Black Friday and Christmas periods and will “create an even better customer experience and support our continued growth”.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Very Group was gearing up for a potential 2022 IPO. The group’s owners, the Barclay family, appointed STJ Advisors to prepare the company for its stock market debut as early as next year, Sky News reported.