The Hut Group: Changing the Rules to the eCommerce Game
The coziest thing about modern eCommerce is the comfort of shopping from home. Suffice to say, today's markets are oversaturated with a range of eCommerce brands that make competing for a spot on the market a tough nut to crack.
Aware of the challenge, yet driven to transform physical shopping into a sublime online experience, Matthew Moulding impressed the world with The Hut Group!
The Hut Group is a universal eCommerce leader that basically grew before the market's eyes. The Hut Group mainly works with beauty and lifestyle brands and collaborates with over 160 websites to sell their products across 140 different markets.
Building brands from the ground up and optimizing market experiences for users is but facile. To do it, one must stand out from the pack, raise the bar of quality, and excel in multitasking. But, with over 6 million users in their pocket, The Hut Group easily achieved it all - and here's the remarkable story that turned the THG into everyone's go-to provider.
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The British Believer
"If you believe strongly enough that everything happens for a reason, and have a lot of fate, luck will constantly be around you!"
Matthew Moulding was born in 1972, in Burnley, a small town in Lancashire, England. Raised in a middle-class family, Matthew's parents would always depict the world to their son as a harsh place, where fighting for a better life could only be done through hard work, persistence, and pushing forward. At the time, Matt's parents - both hard workers themselves - pulled in all stops to enable their son a solid education and, therefore, a prosperous future. Matthew's mother worked as an antique trader, while his father was a tarmac construction.
Considering the circumstances, the Moulding family was not the richest on the block. Matthew's parents had always been humble and whilst they couldn't provide their son with all the riches, they provided him with just enough skills to find his future path. Instead of feeling bad about not having the toys other children played with, Matthew would spend a lot of time at the antique shop where his mother worked.
From very early on, Matthew was a super-bright kid and was aware of his parents' financial and existential struggles. As a result, Matthew grew up appreciating everything his parents had done for him. He also felt immensely thankful for being able to learn the true values of life and would rely on them throughout his future business journey.
Matt's Jumping Point
Understanding the importance of education, Matthew's parents sent him to Colne to maximize his knowledge. Soon after finishing high school, Matthew continued his education and enrolled to study industrial economics at the University of Nottingham. He had felt that economics was always a promising industry field that would earn him both a better job and higher professional experiences. At college, Matthew started to show interest in accountancy, and right after completing his studies, he applied for a chartered accountant position at the Caudwell Group.
Matt was well-known for being meticulous with calculations and tasks, so The Caudwell Group - an enormous retailer and versatile business company - heavily relied on his skills and professional talents. As time passed by, Matt got the chance to showcase his skills in ever greater depth, something the company's chief and owner, John Caudwell, immediately noticed. Once Matt earned his trust, John personally gave him the position of financial distribution director.
Running the department and working in such a prominent company was already a success for Matt, but soon he felt hungrier for more achievements. One day, after purchasing a music CD online, Matthew witnessed an epiphany and began thinking about the ways of eCommerce and how the market grew. This gave Matthew the idea to create his very own eCommerce platform, where he would sell a variety of products at fairer prices. With savings and rich experience in finance and distribution on the side, Matthew dared to finally step outside his professional comfort zone and aim higher!
A Platform to Make a Difference
After spending years of his childhood in his mother's shop, Matthew knew a few key things about selling and buying. With the proper education under his belt, however, as well as the professional practice he had acquired, Matthew's vision felt much easier to accomplish. The main focus of interest for Matthew was eCommerce, as he was downright impressed by the simplicity and efficiency of the online shopping process. Matthew deeply loved everything about selling, retailing, financing, and distributing, and it was this passion for the job that would ultimately turn him into a superbly successful businessman.
In 2003, Matthew finally made the crucial move and quit his existing job to develop a new business plan. Come 2004, Matthew had all business elements in place: a business idea, self-funding, and the right vision. To assemble the elements into a business whole, Matthew began with the cash and invested around £500,000 into his project. Shortly after, the puzzle pieces fell into their respective place and so, The Hut Group was launched.
Although born in 2004, it took Matt three whole years to finally pierce the UK market. Matthew had also hoped to expand his service on other European grounds, and once he was able to, he realized his company had finally reached its full business and competitive potential. Initially, the company sold CDs online, as a way to both kick off business and avoid VAT at the same time. Nevertheless, the company would soon meet its first investment from Sir Stuart Rose and Sir Terry Leahy, sublime British business names. Once the additional funds kicked in, Matthew's business focus immediately changed on a variety of industries whose products needed to be sold online. One by one, Matthew reached out to other eCommerce retailers he could collaborate with, like MyProtein, Illamasqua, and IWantOneOfThose, ultimately scoring a deal with them all.
To make The Hut group distinguishable on the market, Matthew implemented the latest technology and introduced a plethora of innovative purchase options, which landed the platform amongst the crème de la crème.
From the very beginning, The Hut Group has been selling a wide range of products in a handful of industries. In the past decade, however, THG's main focus shifted on selling consumer goods in the health and beauty industry. In 2016, there was statistical evidence that showed that The Hut Group operates with more than 100 eCommerce websites. In just two years, in 2018, that number was enriched by 66 new online retailers.
Headquartered in Manchester, today, the company has more than 5,000 employees, and a total funding amount of $4 billion, raised over 16 funding rounds. The Hut Group has fifteen investors, ten of which are leading. The latest investments in the company came from Sofina and HSBC Bank.
As for its future plans, The Hut Group had its eye on the stock market. As a result, in 2020, The Hut Group was successfully admitted to IPO - the stock market launch or the initial public offering in the Stock Exchange of London and the UK.
Many might assume The Hut Group got lucky at a time no one dared tackle eCommerce or even conceptualize it as a business. Whilst that may be partially true, it's not the whole picture. Without Matthew's unbending desire to revolutionize shopping experiences worldwide and leave his imprint on the industry, the idea of eCommerce and therefore, The Hut Group - might still have been but a vision waiting to be realized!