Hotter strides ahead following digital transformation
Comfort footwear brand Hotter has posted strong sales since it overhauled its strategy as it looks to become a digital-first retailer.
In the 12 months to the end of October, revenue came in at £50.4 million as the retailer achieved strong trading despite market wide supply chain issues and other headwinds.
Its UK sales climbed by 39% in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period in the previous year. Meanwhile half year turnover rose to £25 million from a previous £20 million.
Founded in 1959, the retailer operates 17 stores and six concessions in the UK. However, it has attributed the growth to its £2 million investment in its direct-to-consumer digitalisation, including the launch of its augmented reality smartphone app, which has helped online to become its core channel. Ecommerce accounted for 65% of all sales in 2021.
Hotter chief executive Ian Watson said: “We are delighted with our performance so far this year. It is testament to our ongoing digital transformation, our agility to adapt well to changing market dynamics, and the expertise of our team who have worked impressively hard to deliver stellar growth in an unprecedented 20 months for the retail sector.
“We have managed to successfully navigate through the turbulent economic periods that are continuing to affect the sector, and Hotter is now a resilient and profitable online-first retailer. We will continue to focus on the digitalisation of our retail channels as we move through the Christmas season and continue our growth towards becoming one of the UK’s leading online retailers.”
The company also says it is now reaching 29% of the UK female population over the age of 55, which is its core market.
Hotter’s parent company Electra Private Equity has recently announced plans to become Unbound Group and to list on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. Hotter said Unbound Group will leverage Hotter’s 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 include incorporating other products and services into the Unbound Group portfolio that will be delivered through a curated Unbound digital marketplace.
Watson added: “We have made excellent progress to date at Hotter which provides us with a solid base to expand our focused offer and create Unbound Group as a specialist hub for our demographic, which we feel is currently underserved and misrepresented online. Our plans are well underway, 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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