Tom Keighley

Cheshire online retailer competes with top tech firms

Cheshire-based online retailers the Hut Group, have been included in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 list.

The Northwich company were ranked 12th in this year’s Fast 50, having achieved revenue growth of 1368% over the past five years.

Hut Group are the company behind brands such as IWantOneofThose.com; Zavvi.com and MyProtein.com.

The company provide a technology platform to support retail sites, and have successfully grown from the North West to penetrate foreign markets, since being established in 2004.

Matthew Moulding, chief executive of The Hut Group, said: “Our overseas sales are growing quickly, but we intend to service those customers from the UK. The UK talent pool is phenomenal – graduate talent is outstanding - and we would rather have a stronger multilingual team based here than open new offices overseas that would be harder and more expensive to manage.

“The opportunity for international expansion is colossal so we’ve pulled together a syndicate of people – from retail experience, to finance and technical expertise – that will help the group grow and prevent us from losing momentum. We look forward to leveraging our platform further and expanding our portfolio of products.”

Deloitte’s Fast 50 list is predominantly populated by South East firms, as six of the top ten companies are based in the capital.

The average growth rate of the winning Fast 50 companies is 1,505%, falling from 2,820% in 2011.

Combined revenue generated by the companies is £1.5bn, the highest it has been for the past five years, and a 38% increase on last year.

Jodi Birkett, partner and head of TMT at Deloitte in the North West, said: “The Hut Group is a North West success story. It is a great example of how two visionary entrepreneurs recognised a migration to online retailing and capitalised on it. In the process, they have made great use of the growing pool of technical talent in our region.

“While it may not be surprising to see London and the South East dominate the Fast 50 list, it should be on our radar as a region. The North West has some really successful and pioneering technology companies that are growing at speed.

“The region is privileged to have a heritage in research and development, skilled workers and bold entrepreneurs, all key assets in building up world-class tech clusters. In addition, Government initiatives, like R&D tax incentives, are creating the right climate in which tech businesses can prosper.”

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