LED Hut bought from administration

LED Hut – once a star of the UK’s LED lighting industry – has been bought from administration.

Pubs such as The Pheasant in Worcester, owned by Enterprise Inns, were typical LED Hut customers. Tenant David Ranford saved £1,000 a year by replacing 61 halogen and incandescent lamps with LED versions from LED Hut.

The Manchester-based online retailer of lamps, LED panels and LED tape, which called in the administrations on 17 June, has been bought by Supreme Imports, a company specialising in lamps, batteries and vaping products.

LED Hut was launched in 2011 by entrepreneur Jonathan Ruff to sell LED lamps – then considered an expensive purchase – to consumers looking to get the benefits of LED lamps at a competitive price. It became a spectacular success.

At one stage, LED Hut employed 60 people at its head office in Manchester and it recorded sales of over £18m in 2015.

In 2014, LED Hut merged with the US retailer Batteries Plus in an £18 million deal. LED Hut planned to expand its stores in the UK while helping Batteries Plus with lamp supply and its e-commerce expertise. At one stage LED Hut planned to open 40 branded shops in the UK to complement its flagship store in Jersey.

In 2016 the company was acquired by Clive Brown and Simon Boyle.

However, dramatically falling LED lamps changed consumer behaviour and eroded margins.

In recent years the company moved from being simply an online retailer and branched out into surveying existing lighting installations, and designing and installing retrofit lighting. However the move wasn’t enough to save the business and on 17 June the company called in the administrators KPMG.

The sale secures 30 jobs at the 2,400 square metre warehouse in Middleton, Manchester. Tracey Pye, director at KPMG and joint administrator, told the press: ‘We’re delighted to have secured this sale which safeguards the future of the LED Hut business.’