The Hut Group (THG) today said it had completed its $350m (£256.3m) cash acquisition of leading US skincare brand Dermstore. The step is part of its strategy to become the digital partner of choice for the beauty industry as it moves from offline to online.
The strategy includes expanding lookfantastic.com to be a global online leader in selling brands from across the beauty industry, and to develop THG’s own beauty brands, which now include Mio Skincare, Ameliorate and Christophe Robin. It also plans to help beauty brands both sell directly to their own consumers, using THG technology, and to help them adapt as marketing spend shifts from offline to online through its glossybox.com sample subscription business. Last year, THG Ingenuity started operating ecommerce sales for beauty brands from Burts Bees to Elemis. THG also has a long pipeline of innovations under development. In the beauty sector, for example, it has filed a patent for its own foundation finder technology, which promises to enable customers to colour match at home using THG’s own colour card, machine learning and computer vision technology. Such innovations, it says, will be increasingly important for brands looking to win beauty shoppers’ attention.
The acquisition of Dermastore, says THG, fits with its beauty strategy while also giving the group access to new US customers. Today THG executive chairman and chief executive Matthew Moulding says the completion of the Dermstore transaction means that a fifth of group sales are now in the US.
Moulding says: "We are delighted to welcome the Dermstore.com team to THG and accelerate our ambition to be the global digital partner of choice across the beauty industry.
"THG’s acquisition of the US number one pureplay online prestige skincare business means over 20% of the group’s sales are now within the US, presenting an exciting opportunity to further scale the wider group in a key global market.”
Dermstore, founded in 1999, was established to give online shoppers access to professional-level skincare in the US. THG bought the retailer from the US-based Target Group.