UK-based comfort footwear brand Hotter Shoes is to launch into the wellness and apparel segment after its private equity owner Electra floats its business later this year.
Hotter Shoes will be floated on AIM as part of Electra’s own float when the parent business’s name will also be changed to Unbound Group.
The company and the brand will be making the most of the strong Hotter appeal to older consumers to come up with a marketplace “delivering a range of products and services that support the wellbeing and active lifestyles of our chosen customer community”.
It will sell apparel and wellness products, including complementary labels from third parties. The marketplace concept will launch in the first half of next year.
It comes as the 55+ age group that Hotter targets is increasingly focused on its general wellbeing. That demographic is also ever-more digital (especially post-pandemic) and Hotter’s own recent pivot from physical stores to online is exploiting this.
In the seven months after the launch of its October 2020 new strategy, UK online sales grew 30% on the prior period while sales from digital partnerships grew 44%.
Online sales in the UK and US contributed 68% of total sales over this period, up from 54% in the prior year on a like-for-like basis.
Over the same seven-month period, EBITDA was 8% ahead for continuing operations, despite the closure of its remaining physical stores for 21 out of the 30 weeks in the period.
And for the first half specifically, Hotter’s sales have grown 39% online, outstripping overall 25% sales growth.