Fashion News

Business to Watch: The Hut Group

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The Fashion Network member The Hut Group is the UK's leading multi-category, multi-website online retailer with rapidly growing international operations, currently reaching over 6.5m customers. We caught up with The Hut's Commercial Director Steven Whitehead to discover what's new with the company.



ABOUT THE HUT:
The Hut sells fast moving consumer goods that are non-perishable with high levels of repeat purchase, and premium luxury products with higher average unit sales and strong consumer loyalty.
 
The business has expanded greatly since their launch in 2004, and with the help of c£75m (raised over three years from both individual investors such as Terry Leahy and financial institutions). This investment capital has funded the organic launch of websites across a number of sectors including clothing, footwear, bags and accessories (mybag.com; allsole.com) plus a number of acquisitions including gifts (iwantoneofthose.com), health & beauty (lookfantastic.com; hqhair.com; mankind.co.uk) and sports nutrition (myprotein.com).

The Hut Group’s huge customer base is split between Consumer, Prestige and Lifestyle with fashion falling under both Consumer and Prestige.

The Hut Group are working with a number of fashion brands, including Barbour, Hunter, Vans, Ugg Australia, Ted Baker, The Cambridge Satchel Company, CK by Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Bench, Ringspun and Boxfresh.
 
WHAT THE HUT ARE LOOKING FOR:
Building a relationship with a brand is important. The Hut operates several bespoke fashion sites, each addressing a defined segment of the fashion market. Each Hut site has bespoke content, editorial, marketing and pricing specifically addressing its target customer whether premium, mainstream or discount. Commercial Director Steven Whitehead says that this breadth of website offering and customer reach enables the Hut to build relationships with brands who can  ‘have confidence that their products will sell at the right price, at the right time in their lifecycle in the desired retail environment’.

Brands are approached in the traditional way, with The Hut Group having a team of buyers with a very strong calling card. Steven says ‘the buyers can readily demonstrate to Brands that the Hut Group has a huge customer reach across the UK and Europe and they can be confident that product will be showcased in the desired retail environment. The Hut is delivering substantial year-on-year growth rates so we are able to commit to material volumes with the confidence of knowing we can sell product through across a number of different sites as it moves through the life cycle.’


Brands recognise the benefits of working with a trusted ecommerce partner such as The Hut Group and are increasingly making direct approaches, particularly to internalise their brands, which ecommerce partners such as The Hut Group can do more readily than offline retailers.

THE HUT'S CONTACT DETAILS:

For any enquiries please contact Clare Potts on clare.potts@thehutgroup.com.

By Greg Thomas


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