Hotter reports strong trading as digital excels
Hotter Shoes has been driving through big changes in recent periods and it seems to be having a positive effect on its bottom line with the firm saying on Tuesday that revenue was £50.4 million in the 12 months to the end of October, although it didn’t give a comparison figure.
However, it said the figure came due to “strong and extremely pleasing” trading in light of market wide supply chain issues and other headwinds facing e-commerce businesses”.
And UK sales were up 39% in the first six months of this year, reaching £25 million.
The firm is also making great strides with its core 55+ demographic. Some 78% of its customers are over 55 and the brand now reaches “29% of UK females aged 55+”.
The 62-year-old company, which still operates stores but is now digital-first, said it has “excelled through the economic turbulence of Covid and Brexit, benefiting from the loyalty of its 4.6 million global customers to become one of the stronger names in the retail sector, providing stakeholders with confidence in its strategic direction, longevity and sales growth”.
And that’s largely down to its change of direction, It’s still focused on comfort footwear and that older demographic, but it went from 82 stores pre-pandemic and 17 stores plus six concessions today.
E-commerce accounted for 65% of all sales in 2021 after it made a £2 million investment in direct-to-consumer digitalisation, including the launch of its augmented reality smartphone app, aiding product choice and accessibility.
Chief Executive, Ian Watson, said the “quick, decisive action surrounding its digital strategy has allowed it to successfully navigate the economic challenges it has faced”.
In the coming fourth quarter, parent company Electra Private Equity is to become Unbound Group and list on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM market.
And it has ambitious expansion plans saying it will “leverage Hotter’s existing extensive customer database and its scalable digital infrastructure to offer a variety of products and services with related consumer benefits to the same targeted demographic”.
This will be delivered through a “curated Unbound digital marketplace working with similarly focused partners to enhance and support the wellbeing and active lifestyles of Hotter's existing community”.
Watson added: “Our plans are well under way, and we are on track to launch our consumer site in H1 2022, it’s a hugely exciting time in our evolution.”
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