Tag: thehutgroup

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’.

Etailer The Hut Group earns place in entrepreneurs’ grand final

Finalists

An online retailer from Cheshire emerged triumphant in the northwest region on Thursday, earning the last remaining place in the national final to be held next month.

Staff from The Hut Group, based in Northwich, Cheshire, roared with delight as co-founders John Gallemore and Matthew John Moulding collected the award from Adrian Grace, Bank of Scotland Corporate’s managing director at a ceremony in Manchester’s Imperial War Museum.

The Hut Group, which sells consumer products such as DVDs, computer games and electronics through its own website and will use the prize of a £5m loan, interest-free for three years, to continue its rapid expansion.

Presenting the prize, Grace said The Hut Group had been up against the toughest group of finalists of any region. The other finalists were technology-infrastructure business ANS Group; sports-nutrition and health-food firm Myprotein.com; motoring-services business National Tyres; and Pendine Park, the care organisation.

Thorough preparation in the week before their grilling in front of the judges paid off for The Hut Group’s founding pair. “We spent the week running through the presentation, running through the plan and working out exactly how to present it,” said Moulding.

“We were in it to win so we took the competition very seriously. The competition was very stiff — in fact, we would have preferred to have been competing in a different region. I feel a bit numb now but it’s fantastic to have won.”

The Hut Group’s track record of growth from its foundation in 2004 to sales of £27m this year was a decisive factor in its success. “We feel the business in its own right is strong but we also showed the judges our passion for the business and our attention to detail,” Moulding added.

The story of how he and Gallemore founded the business may also have been a factor. “In October 2003 I bought a CD online. It was fantastically cheap and it gave me the idea. We knew nothing about the internet, about retailing or about the product. It’s not easy setting a company up and we mortgaged our houses to do it. We lost £1m in the first two years. That was tough, but we showed we were survivors.

“We were both with the Caudwell Group at the time, which is a challenging environment to be in. Working with an entrepreneur like John Caudwell is an amazing experience and it rubs off on you. We have John to thank. He gave us the income and the chance to reinvest some money.”

The company’s ability to continue growing through a downturn was also part of the message The Hut Group presented to the judges.

Moulding said: “One of our strengths is working with other brands. They let us run their shops and we give them a cheque every month. We’re an aggregator, which is not a bad thing to be in these times. If we were just a small consumer brand on our own there would be a daunting few years ahead.”

Winning the award will help the company to continue its rapid expansion, he said. “We’re going to use the prize money to invest in people, invest in new categories and look at overseas expansion. Winning this award is also going to give us so much credibility in the marketplace.”

The company’s ability to continue growing profitably impressed the judges.

Matthew Riley, chief executive officer of Daisy Communications, the national winner last year, said: “I was impressed by their track record of successful execution and their past with the Caudwell Group, who are hard taskmasters; and they left well-paid jobs, which shows great entrepreneurship.”

Tim Rigg, head of commercial business for Bank of Scotland Corporate in the northwest, said: “We felt that this was a strong and complementary management team. They had been in other businesses, they were well-rounded people and very much in control of the numbers. They were also the sort of guys who would not be afraid to seek advice when they needed to.

“These are entrepreneurs who started from nothing and who showed remarkable growth in the last couple of years. Their strategy of building relationships with blue-chip customers also impressed us and we see the potential to take the business into the next league.”

The Hut Group will join the six other finalists to compete for the title of Britain’s best entrepreneurial business at the Royal Courts of Justice on December 3.

The Hut Group wins North West final of Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Challenge

E-commerce provider, The Hut Group, has won £5 million of funding from the Bank of Scotland in the North West and North Wales final of its annual Entrepreneur Challenge. The Hut Group will use the funding to increase partnerships across new categories.

Matthew Moulding, CEO at The Hut Group, comments, “We are absolutely delighted to have won the North West and North Wales final of the Entrepreneur Challenge and look forward to the national final in London. The funding will enable us to dedicate more resource to this area of our business. I am truly excited about the growth opportunities ahead for The Hut and look forward to working with our team of technical experts to provide large retailers with the necessary online requirements.”

The Hut Group will now go forward to the national final of the competition in London, which takes place in December.

The Hut Group also has an online entertainment retail site and sells a range of lifestyle and leisure products including DVDs, books, games consoles and the latest gadgets.

About The Hut Group

Based in Northwich, Cheshire, The Hut Group was established in 2004 by Matthew Moulding and John Gallemore. TheHut.com is the fifth largest online entertainment retailer selling home entertainment products such as books, DVDs and games.

A Sunday Times Tech Track company, The Hut Group is the fastest growing technology company in the North West and ranked 8th in the UK.

For further information please contact:

Elizabeth West / Dana Corson

Berkeley Public Relations

Tel: 01629 826942

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www.berkeleypr.co.uk