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Online retailer The Hut Group eyes expansion

Online retailer The Hut Group is close to finalising a deal on a new warehouse and head office that will more than double the company's selling space.

The technology-focused business, which owns internet retailers such as Lookfantastic.com and Iwantoneofthose.com, plans to open a 46,000 sq m warehouse at a site south of Manchester, with a decision expected in the second half of its financial year. It has narrowed down its options to two potential sites and has plans to open the facility and a new HQ by late 2015.

A new warehouse would replace the Warrington base that The Hut Group has used since 2010.

Earlier this week, the retail group announced a 30.3% year-on-year increase in net revenue to £77.1 million, for the six months to 30 June.

Over the six-month period, the company continued to expand its Technology Services Division by adding a number of contracted technology services with FMCG giant Unilever. It also launched its proprietary recommendation engine, with the aim of personalising the individual retailing environments and driving increased consumer engagement.

Hut Group's technological innovation will continue under the guidance of former Amazon, eBay and Last.FM exec Phil Wilson, who joined the business as chief technology officer on 1 September.

Matthew Moulding, The Hut Group CEO, said: "2013 has witnessed another step-change in the group's data driven retailing capabilities. Our continued investment in both people and technology is a key driver behind the continued high levels of growth in sales, profitability and cashflow across the group.

"The progress we've made during 2013 puts us on target for delivering at least 50% of the group's sales from both our own lifestyle and health & beauty brands as well as from international markets in 2014.

"To assist us in reaching this goal, we will continue to focus on attracting elite talent to the group as well as on-going investment to enhance our proprietary technology platform."