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Skygate success celebrated with visit from the Chancellor of the Exchequer

April 29, 2022

The Very Group welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, to Skygate, its highly automated fulfilment centre in the East Midlands, yesterday (Thursday 28 April 2022). The event was also attended by Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire.

The Chancellor hosted a Q&A session with Very teammates, met with young people who joined the business via the Government’s Kickstart scheme, and toured the state of the art facility, which has processed more than 65 million items to date.

The visit provided an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of Skygate, which launched the day the UK’s first national lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. Since then, the site’s automated technology has delivered significant benefits for Very customers, with orders dispatched in as little as 16 minutes, the cut off for next day delivery extended to 10pm, and faster refunds with returns processed in 30 minutes.

During the tour, the Chancellor met Skygate team members working in a variety of roles, including some recruited via the Government’s Kickstart scheme which creates career opportunities for young people at risk of long term unemployment. Having excelled during their placements in 2021, seven ‘Kickstarters’ recently became automation assistants at Skygate, with eight more starting placements in April 2022.

The Chancellor packing Very parcels

The facility is also helping Very meet its environmental goals by reducing packaging waste and improving its heat, light and power footprint. Skygate has been certified A-rated for energy efficiency, with all containers arriving by rail, saving one million road miles every year.

Henry Birch, group chief executive at The Very Group, said: “We are delighted the Chancellor has recognised Skygate’s achievements and we welcomed the opportunity for him to meet our amazing team and see the site in action.

“Skygate is a state of the art, highly automated facility that is creating sustainable, skilled employment for hundreds of people in the East Midlands. The site has delivered significant customer experience improvements and huge productivity and environmental gains for our business. It is a great example of success in the region.”

Contact information

Media relations

Ashley Muldoon (The Very Group)         | 07523 044 507

Notes to editors

About The Very Group

With annual revenue of £2.3bn, The Very Group is a unique digital business that combines online retail and flexible payments. Our family of digital retail brands, led by and supported by and, helps to bring 2,000 desirable labels within easy reach of more customers.

Our team of passionate people has a shared purpose: making good things easily accessible to more people, and we’re here for the millions of online shoppers across the UK and Ireland.

Across electrical, home, fashion and more, we sell everything our 4.8 million customers could need, except food. And our flexible payment options, which are provided responsibly via our Very Pay platform and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, help our customers manage their household budgets.

We have over a hundred years of history behind us, but at our heart there is a passion for change – to constantly improve what we do, to innovate with data and technology at our core and to be the best possible place to work.

For more information, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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