Tag: the hut

The Hut Group appoints Richard Pennycook as Non-Executive Director

The Hut Group Limited (‘The Hut’ or ‘the Group’), one of Europe’s fastest growing online retailers and brand owners, is pleased to announce that Richard Pennycook has been appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Director with immediate effect.

Richard is currently Group Finance Director of WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC (‘Morrisons’) and his vast range of retail experience as both CEO and CFO is highly complementary to the Group. Earlier this year Richard announced he would leave Morrisons at the end of June 2013 to concentrate on building a portfolio career.

Angus Monro, Chairman of The Hut Group, said: “We are thrilled that Richard is joining our Board. He is one of the most respected retailers in the UK and his wealth of experience will be invaluable as we continue to build the Group into a major global ecommerce player.”

Richard Pennycook commented: “I have built a close relationship with Matt, John and the team for a number of years and I have been very impressed with the progress and growth which they continue to deliver. The Group operates a compelling and disruptive business model with tremendous growth opportunities. I am delighted to become part of such an enthusiastic, skilled and professional team and look forward to contributing to The Hut’s future development.”

Enquiries: Hudson Sandler, Andrew Leach / Alex Brennan

Tel: 0207 796 4133

Notes to Editors:

Richard Pennycook

A chartered accountant and graduate of Bristol University, Richard joined the Board of Morrisons as Group Finance Director in October 2005 with responsibility for finance, IT, strategy and multichannel development. Prior to joining Morrisons, Richard was the Group Finance Director of RAC Plc, the quoted specialist motoring and vehicle management company. Previous senior roles include Group Finance Director of HP Bulmer Holdings Plc, Laura Ashley Plc and JD Wetherspoon Plc and Chief Executive of Welcome Break Holdings Plc. He is also Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Persimmon Plc.

About The Hut Group

The Hut Group is a ‘multi-category, multi-website’ specialist on-line retailer and brand owner, selling high repeat purchase goods direct to consumers across the sports nutrition; health and beauty; entertainment; gifting; clothing and accessories markets. In June 2011, the Group launched a new division (Technology Services), focused on the provision of business to business software and ecommerce platform services.

The Hut Group launched its first website in 2004 and now operates 15 individually branded websites across product categories which share specific defining characteristics: non-perishable, high repeat purchase, one-man delivery and low levels of customer returned products.

The Hut Group operates 3 ecommerce divisions:

The Group’s ‘multi-category, multi-website’ ecommercemodel is an evolution to the traditional ‘single’ site ecommerce model, enabling the Group to showcase branded products in bespoke retail environments, as required both by the brands and informed consumers.

The Group’s proprietary technology platform is central to the business model. The platform functionality ranges from the presentational layer through to all back office functions including an in-house data centre, whilst also generating in-depth consumer behavioural insight. The technology platform facilitates highly effective data-driven retailing, manifesting as optimised website content and bespoke marketing content generating high levels of consumer loyalty and cross-selling.

In 2009, The Hut Group was ranked no.1 in the ‘Sunday Times Tech Track 100 of the UK’s fastest growing companies’ and ranked the 3rd fastest growing digital company in Europe at the ‘GP Bullhound Media Momentum Awards’ in May 2010.

For further information, please visit www.www.thg.com

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The Hut Group’s top performers hit the road in Toyota iQs

Online retailer, TheHut.com is one of the first UK organisations to adopt the new Toyota iQ as its company car. An incentive for star performers, as well as an on-car branding opportunity and an environmental statement, TheHut.com has issued the economical car to 15 staff.

“TheHut.com is a rapidly expanding organization and is always looking for ways to reward success,” said Dominic Starkey, the company’s Head of E-Commerce. “The new car is one of the ways in which star performers within the business can benefit from our growth and be repaid for their support and effort.”

Mr Starkey said that the vehicles would also act, “as part of a wider drive to be as green and ethical as possible,” and enable the company to benefit from, “the fantastic opportunity on-car branding affords us”. The iQs are being supplied in white, sign-written with the company’s web address, www.thehut.com.

“We chose the iQ because it is a leader in its class from an environment angle, has a great spec and is one of the flagship products of a forward-thinking company,” added Starkey.

Steve Jolley, of the supplying RRG Group which has 19 centres in the North-West, said, “We took one of the first two iQs in the country up to Northwich to show TheHut.com last December. We followed that with around 30 test drives in January.”

“The staff all love the cars,” continues TheHut.com’s Starkey. “The spec is impressive, and though it looks like a small car from the outside, once inside it feels and drives like a much larger car, which is testament to its comfort and design.”

The Toyota iQ is powered by a 1.0 VVT-i 68bhp petrol engine, which provides fuel economy of 65.7mpg and emissions of just 99g/km.

The car exemplifies the new Toyota Optimal Drive concept of powertrain engineering and design, which brings more power better economy and lower emissions.

The Hut’s iQs are being supplied on two-year contracts, with half of the first batch through Toyota Finance and the remainder through Arval.

The Hut.com enters into partnership with Argos

The Hut.com is pleased to announce that it has launched a partnership with leading high street retailer Argos with the launch of a new website www.argosentertainment.co.uk.

In partnership with The Hut, the site will enable Argos to enter a popular market and offer a large choice of CDs and DVDs to customers shopping online. The new website offers 125,000 titles of both chart and back catalogue lines all with free delivery. Dominic Starkey, Head of e-commerce at The Hut Group, adds, “We are delighted to be working with Argos, one of the country’s most respected brands and retailers. We are particularly excited about the opportunities for helping the company increase its Entertainment products range.”

Karen Bray, marketing director for Argos said: “Online shopping has become part of everyday life for many of our customers and the entertainment site will offer our customers an increased product choice at a competitive price. The Hut is a good partner for Argos and brings their expertise in the entertainment field to the site”.

The new website launched on 3rd April and will be promoted from the popular, award winning* www.argos.co.uk website homepage. In addition, the Argos database and weekly ‘Gos’ email will be used to raise awareness of the new entertainment offer and targeted promotions to customers.

*Winner of 2009 Retail Week ‘Online Retailer of the Year’.

Matt builds Hut to £27m

Online retailing entrepreneur Matt Moulding has quietly built the fifth-largest online retailer of entertainment products in the UK, behind Play.com, Amazon, HMV and Game. His company TheHut.com is little known. It produces entertainment channels selling CDs, games, DVDs and other entertainment products.

In the year to the end of June, the Northwich-based company made a pre-tax profit of around £200,000 on sales of £14.1m but Moulding expects sales by the end of the year to be much higher. “We’re turning over £1.5m a month compared to £500,000 a month this last year,” he said. “Our big period is Christmas, and our run rate of the first six months suggests we’ll do £27m.”

Moulding, 36, who owns 58 percent of TheHut.com, said he began looking at the idea of an online entertainment site after buying a CD from a Jersey-based business in October 2003. When he discovered firms based offshore had been able to take advantage of a rule known as the Low Value Consignment Relief (which exempted items below £18 that are purchased outside the EU from VAT), he started planning his own launch and eventually convinced a couple of friends to chip in to help launch the site with an initial £500,000 investment.

The offshore advantage had almost disappeared prior to the site’s launch in April 2004 once HMV and Tesco announced plans to open their own offshore operations. Yet he and former Caudwell colleague John Gallemore (who has run the site since its inception and holds an 18 per cent stake) persevered.

As it is, he still expects TheHut.com site to bring in around £6m of the forecasted £27m for 2008 but admits it needs an overhaul.

The firm currently ships all CDs and games from three warehouses in Guernsey and Jersey but has recently been looking at other options including shipping from Chicago, which would be “less expensive and just as quick, if not quicker”.

He said the long term goal was to grow sales to £100m through developing new territories, customers and sales channels.

For new channels, it is planning to launch online sales of flowers, t-shirts, lingerie and perfume, among others. The latter will be done in conjunction with fellow Burnley FC fan, Brendan Flood of Modus Ventures.

He is also exploring the possibility of launching TheHut.com concessions within some of Modus’s shopping centres. The terminals would offer shoppers items at cheaper rates than neighbours, he said, as they would operate on lower overheads. It would do deals for smaller, empty units and place terminals within window spaces. The units would not need to be staffed, he argues, and window space could be sold to third party advertisers. He estimates that a small unit with a cheap fit-out would cost around £200,000 — half of which could be recouped on selling window space.

“If we don’t sell a thing, having that level of brand awareness could help towards lifting our online sales,” he said. “And if it’s crap, we could just drop it. We’re not ashamed to admit if something’s wrong. The worst that can happen is someone pees on my computer screens.”

Richard Faulkner, an area director with Bank of Scotland, which is not a lender to the company, said Moulding’s growth plans were “impressive, particularly in the light of the current retail environment”.

TheHut.com tops this year’s list of technology companies in the Northwest

Online retailer TheHut.com tops this year’s list of technology companies in the Northwest, and is ranked No 18 in Britain, according to the latest Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100 league table published last weekend.

Now in its seventh year, the annual league table ranks Britain’s one hundred fastest growing, private technology companies by their sales growth over a two-year period, according to their latest available accounts. The majority (75) of companies on the table were in profit.

Seven businesses in the region (compared with 11 last year) have won places on this year’s listing. Each of these companies has made a substantial contribution to the local economy. Together they employ 878 staff and have racked up combined sales of £84m.

Based in Northwich, Cheshire, TheHut.com have run their own website selling home entertainment products, such as books, DVDs and games. Founded only three years ago by Matthew Moulding and John Gallemore, the company’s sales soared an average of 187% a year from £692,000 in 2005 to £5.7m in 2007.