Hotter continues experiential shopping store roll-out
Footwear brand Hotter has opened its first pop-up store in the Trafford Centre as the retailer re-fits an existing high street store as part of its experiential shopping focus.
The business, which sells over 1.3m pairs of shoes a year, is continuing to roll out its Retail 2.0 strategy in response to changing high street and consumer needs. Hotter’s strategy is to offer bespoke shoe fitting experiences using the latest precision fit technology in-store, online and within its app. The first of Hotter’s high street stores to be redesigned to become more experiential – holding less inventory and maximising expert advice available – is its 1,000 sq ft Solihull store, which will be fully operational in the coming weeks.
In addition to opening a pop-up unit in the Trafford Centre, Manchester, over the Christmas period, Hotter has also partnered with nationwide garden centre group Notcutts, and plans to open digital kiosks in selected locations. Hotter accelerated its digital-first transformation in 2020 and now 90% of all new customers are acquired through its digital channels.
Victoria Betts, Chief Commercial Officer at Hotter, said: “Around 40% of in-store orders are now ordered directly from our warehouse and we expect this to rise with the continuation of our Retail 2.0 strategy.
“The transformation of our physical store network, alongside opening up pop-up units and garden centre digital kiosks, is about adapting the way we interact with customers as they continually seek more from in-person shopping experiences.
“Change in the retail sector is happening at a phenomenal pace and we’re continually innovating and refreshing. This strategy perfectly complements our digital-first approach, which has been embraced by customers and staff, allowing us to deliver high quality products direct to doors and support Hotter’s growth even through the Coronavirus lockdowns.”
As part of the Retail 2.0 strategy, Hotter is investing in motion mapping tables, providing an immersive digital experience for customers to interact with products. It is understood that Hotter is one of the first UK retailers to invest in this technology.
Stores which are re-fitted will have new layouts designed to encourage customers to use the technology, including several seating areas with iPads and large touchscreen pods; as well as industry-leading Footprint Footprint™ 3D Scanner machines, which offer precision foot measuring via 3D technology.
Hotter’s Trafford Centre pop-up will be available throughout November and December to offer customers the chance to accurately measure their feet on Footprint™ 3D Scanner, supported by trained technicians. Customers will then be able to purchase items online, for delivery to their home.
Leading the market in comfort, Hotter has reported a strong trading this year, with an overall global sales growth of 25% in the first six months of 2021 (Source: Electra RNS), despite the tough retail conditions. Its parent company, Unbound Group PLC, also announced it will list on the AIM market in Q4 2021.