The Hut Group Inks Beauty Deals Worth More Than 100 Million Pounds

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LONDON — The Hut Group is pumping up its white label tech business, inking a string of deals worth more than 100 million pounds to develop e-commerce sites for brands including Elemis, Burt’s Bees, Nuxe and By Terry.

The Manchester, England-based group said Monday that THG Ingenuity, its technology services division, has been partnering with a string of independent brands and beauty companies, such as PZ Cussons and Revolution Beauty, to build and operate their direct-to-consumer sites internationally.

THG, the owner of e-tailer Lookfantastic, Espa and Illamasqua, among other names, said it was signing these deals in order to help beauty brands large and small “meet the growing online consumer demand,” which has accelerated during coronavirus lockdown.

Matthew Moulding, THG’s founder and chief executive officer, said the consumer shift to online “continues at pace,” and direct-to-consumer operations have become a necessity for beauty brands to generate sustainable long-term growth.

He said THG Ingenuity’s proprietary technology helps brands to accelerate international expansion and to launch, market and fulfill their product offerings quickly. THG also offers trading and performance marketing analytics to brands so they can optimize their performance. Brands have access to, and full ownership of, all of the data gathered by THG.

THG said the partnership with PZ Cussons Beauty will see three of PZ’s consumer brands, St. Tropez, Sanctuary Spa and Fudge professional launch e-commerce sites in under six weeks.

It will continue the Burt’s Bees European e-commerce rollout, which began with a U.K. site launch in May, and launch an online business in the U.S. for Nuxe. THG will open further sites across America and Asia-Pacific for Nuxe.

THG will also be working with By Terry on brand development and strategy, content and packaging, direct-to-consumer and managed services in trade and performance marketing.

THG allows partner brands tap into its end-to-end, proprietary direct-to-consumer technology platform; its international fulfillment and payments infrastructure; and its hosting, translations, brand development and creative content services.

It also offers its partners a pipeline of innovation and tools aimed at capturing and converting customer attention. The company said it recently filed a patent for its Foundation Finder Technology, which allows consumers to color-match from home using THG’s own color card, machine learning and computer vision technology. 

THG Ingenuity already counts Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Johnson & Johnson and Nintendo among the clients that use its tech and e-commerce solutions.

Similar to Farfetch, THG has an international infrastructure that includes digital content studios and event spaces, and in-house consultative and management services across trading, marketing and brand strategy.

In addition, it takes care of warehousing and fulfillment with the aim of operating and scaling retail brands. THG now operates more than 200 localized web sites and retails goods in 169 countries.

In the year to Dec. 31, the group saw sales increase by 24 percent to 1.14 billion pounds, with 66 percent of sales generated internationally. More than half of THG’s sales come from its own brand products. 

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