The Hut Group
- Sector: Retail
- Region: North West England
- Revenue: £200m to £250m
- Website: www.thehutgroup.com
Setting the rules
Operating from a headquarters in Cheshire, The Hut Group is a global online retailer specialising in health and beauty. Launched in 2004, it focuses on selling own brand or leading third-party branded goods to customers directly through a portfolio of over 60 international websites.
“When we started, we developed a set of rules,” says CEO Matt Moulding. “What we sold needed to be small, so it would go global, we’d need to have very low returns – as a group we have less than 1% – and we wanted only one-man delivery. We also wanted certain profit margins. Health and beauty products met all the criteria, so we started with those. We now also own entertainment, fashion and lifestyle brands.”
Last year, it shipped 13 million orders to 190 countries and had a record-breaking year for revenue. Matt says 2016 is set to be even better.
“When we started, we developed a set of rules – what we sold needed to be small, so it would go global”
“Having become the leader in both the UK health and premium beauty markets, we prioritised a strategy for international growth,” he says. “In the past 12 months, we have launched 28 international websites (bringing the total number of group websites to 64) across 21 languages and 17 local payment gateways – all from our HQ in Cheshire. We’ve truly become a global operator.”
The pace of expansion looks set to continue with a big investment to improve future service. “We have invested £100m in a new world-class distribution and manufacturing centre of excellence. Details of the investment – which will create 2,000 new jobs in our North West heartland – were personally announced by Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne in January 2015.”
28 – The number of international websites the company has launched in 12 months
Matt believes the UK government should do more to help businesses outside of London by providing better infrastructure.
“It may seem trivial, but achieving four flights from Manchester to Beijing matters quite a lot to us. China is one of our key growth areas, so as an organization, we need Manchester to flourish and get the infrastructure it needs.”