The Hut Group has added two specialist nutrition websites as it continues to expand its health and beauty retail business.
The two sites, IdealShape and IdealFit, have come with the acquisition of Ideal, a weight management and sports nutrition retailer founded in the US in 2003. Thirteen years on, it turns over $60m (£46m) a year online, selling a range of 57 weight management and protein shakes, bars and supplements direct to consumers, and is growing at more than 250% a year. The brand engages with consumers through personal trainers that act as brand ambassadors, social media and user-generated content.
The move continues The Hut Group’s expansion into North America, following the launches of Myprotein and Lookfantastic in the US in recent years, along with the acquisitions of Mio Skincare, Grow Gorgeous and Skinstore.
It also continues its positioning in the premium health and beauty market, a sector that is potentially more profitable than the film and entertainment market where The Hut Group business originally started and where it still operates the Zavvi website.
Commenting on the acquisition, The Hut Group chief executive and founder Matthew Moulding said he was delighted to welcome an “innovative and popular” brand to the group. “We look forward to sharing our in-house manufacturing and technology platform to further develop the range and take the brand to new audiences around the world,” he said.
The Hut Group now plans to take the Ideal websites international with the launch of country-specific websites.
Its own in-house platform currently powers more than 100 local market websites. The retailer also works with third-party brands including Unilever, Nintendo and the Daily Mail.