E-tailer The Hut, which this week bought the rights to the Zavvi brand and website, wants to buy more struggling brands to turn into pure-play sites as it guns to become a serious competitor to Amazon.
The Hut chief executive Matthew Moulding said the Zavvi buy was just the beginning of a raft of acquisitions it planned to make. “There are a number of businesses struggling on the high street which are good brands and often have a good online business,” he said.
Moulding said the Zavvi website was “heading for £20m of sales online before it went under” and this can be clawed back to create a£20m to£30m annual business. It relaunched the site this week and added sportswear, lingerie and perfume alongside its traditional entertainment lines.
He said: “There is some brand damage but the proposition we have launched is 10 to 15 per cent cheaper [than Zavvi was previously]. We have 700,000 products and they will be more aggressively priced.”
The e-tailer’s eponymous site, The Hut, started as an entertainment site and expanded into other product categories. It wants to build up the site to carry around 30 product categories, acquiring businesses to achieve this goal.
“We started in entertainment, but want to expand,” said Moulding. “We want to create the next Amazon, people think that you can’t do that but why not?”
The Cheshire-based business, which was set up in 2004, also runs white-label services for retail partners including DSGi and Asda Direct. Moulding said turnover was£25m last year and it expects to hit£75m in 2009.
The Hut also launched a new look for its eponymous site this week.