The Hut Group (THG) is an ecommerce business which sells own-brand and third-party products covering health and beauty, fashion, accessories and sport across over a vast number of websites.
Segments within the business include:
- THG Beauty, which includes some eight-owned brands across skincare, heathcare and cosmetics and also the provision of a “global route to market” for over 1,300 third-party beauty brands through THG’s portfolio of websites, including Lookfantastic, Cult Beauty, Dermstore and Mankind.
- THG Nutrition, which is a group of digital-first Nutrition brands.
- THG Ingenuity, which offers a “complete digital commerce solution for consumer brand owners across its three pillars of technology, digital and operations”.
- The ‘Other’ segment, which includes THG Luxury and THG Experience.
THG’s diverse portfolio has been boosted through acquisitions of brands such as Christophe Robin and Eyeko, as well as beauty manufacturer Acheson & Acheson and translation services firm Language Connect. Recent additions to the roster include skincare specialist Dermstore, flavourings manufacturer Claremont, food supplier Berryman’s and online beauty retailer Cult Beauty.
For the past few years, the retailer has been focused on the scale-up and commercialisation of its third-party ecommerce platform Ingenuity. The platform powers its own websites and investments are continuously made to improve its services for external clients using it to power their own. Its growing list of customers has included Homebase, L’Occitane and Microsoft.
As of the end of 2021, THG Ingenuity powered over 200 localised group websites, as well as supporting over 180 websites for third-party brands.
Established in 2004, THG has since grown to become a global multi-category, multi-brand retailer. Although sales continued to grow in its latest financial year, coming in at £2.2bn for 2022, profitability suffered with pre-tax and operational losses widening and reporting an EBITDA of £64.1m. The result was impacted by costs relating to a strategic review, stock provision, international delivery costs and administrative costs.
The retailer’s aspirations have been focussed on international growth and although the share of global sales reduced for the past two years, international still accounted for more than 57% of total sales in 2022.
A successful flotation in September 2020 raised £1.88bn to fund THG’s ambitious growth plans, and marking the biggest London IPO in five years.
However, since then, THG’s share price has slumped by three quarters amid investor doubts over the real value of the Ingenuity business and a lack of proper corporate governance.
In April 2023 shares in THG surged by more than a third after it confirmed that it had received a private equity takeover bid from Apollo. However, THG rejected the bid in May.
THG operates in over 60 languages, 50 currencies, 200 countries and has a global customer base of over 31 million customers. It also owns an upmarket physical retail space in Manchester which is used to develop its influencer marketing credentials.
Innovation rating: 3