July 12, 2011, 2:16 PM

The Hut adds sports nutrition to its line-up

The U.K. mass merchant’s acquisition of MyProtein.com broadens its health and beauty offerings.

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United Kingdom mass merchant TheHut.com has entered the sports nutrition market with the acquisition of U.K. online retailer MyProtein.com. The acquisition broadens The Hut’s health and beauty offerings while giving MyProtein access to The Hut’s technology platform and database of 6 million customers.

The deal also complements The Hut’s male style and grooming web site, Mankind.co.uk, and will give the retailer opportunities to build on cross-marketing to its consumers across all of its web sites, the company says.

Founded in 2004, MyProtein operates sites in the U.K., France, Germany, Ireland Italy and Spain, markets in which The Hut, No. 92 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Europe, has a strong presence. Following the acquisition, international markets will account for 40% of The Hut’s sales, the company says. MyProtein sales are expected to reach 25.0 million pounds ($39.8 million) this year from its 300,000 registered users.

MyProtein CEO Oliver Cookson will join The Hut board and head the retailer’s enlarged lifestyle division.

MyProtein represents the latest in a series of acquisitions by The Hut. In November 2010, the retailer acquired LookFantastic Group, the U.K.’s largest online health and beauty retailer, for 19.4 million pounds ($30.9 million) in cash and equity. LookFantastic’s CEO Daniel Crown joined the board of The Hut to assist in growing the business and helping the retailer’s continued expansion into luxury goods. The Hut last year also purchased online gifting web site IWantOneofThose.com.

The Hut Group focuses on consumer goods with high repeat purchases, including such entertainment products, as games, DVDs, CDs and books; electronics; health and beauty; footwear; gifting; accessories; toys; underwear and sports. Its sites also include Zavvi.com, Gifted.com, MyBag.co.uk, WashBag.com and LookMantastic.com.

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