The Hut Group plans to showcase its health and beauty brands in a new experiential World of THG retail space in the centre of Manchester.
The group has bought the ground floor and basement of an Edwin Lutyens-designed building on King Street, Manchester, that it now plans to refurbish and convert into what it says will be a “contemporary retail and experiential marketing space”, where it will showcase its health and beauty brands.
This, it says, is an example of the group’s growing investment in premium retail space, to complement its online growth. Currently the retailer sells through 166 localised websites, selling goods in 169 countries through beauty, wellness, luxury and lifestyle brands including lookfantastic, mama mio, myprotein,The Hut, Coggles, zavvi and Probikekit. But it has also recently invested £50m in the King Street Townhouse and Great John Street Hotel, and previously bought and developed the Hale Country Club & Spa in 2016.
The Hut Group founder and chief executive Matthew Moulding said: “THG is continuously looking at original ways to deliver the most engaging retail and wellbeing experience. The acquisition of the iconic 100 King Street site further expands our innovative marketing infrastructure. The development programme to create the World of THG will provide a new and innovative environment for customers and influencers to discover and fully experience our prestigious brands.
“In addition, while continuing to expand our international presence, as a Manchester-born business we’re committed to the North West and growing our employment base in the region.”
The Hut Group’s most recently available figures, for the year December 31 2017, report sales of £736m were up by 47% on the previous year, while international sales of £512m were 62% up on last time. Half of its sales now come from own-brand products. That reflects the retail group’s long-term strategy of moving away from the low margin products, such as DVDs and novelty gifts, that it started out selling.
Last year the retail group agreed to build a new 1m sq ft office campus over two sites close to Manchester Airport with the potential to grow capacity to house a workforce of 10,000. The deal was hailed as the largest office development deal outside London for more than 20 years.
Image courtesy of The Hut Group