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Hotter opens 50th branded store

A UK-based shoemaker with great plans for expansion within the footwear retail sector.

Hotter recently opened its 50th UK branded store, having chosen Milton Keynes as the location for this landmark event. As part of this programme of retail expansion, the company’s store count has grown from the total of five it was selling from in 2010. Twenty more openings are planned around the country by the end of this year, adding 200 further jobs to the same number Hotters created in 2012.

”All of our women’s and men’s products are designed with microscopic attention to detail, and our stores are no different,” said Managing Director Peter Taylor, who joined last year from Hunter. “We devote a high percentage of floor space to seating, products are displayed in easy to navigate categories, we employ people who have great customer service skills, and then we train them to fit shoes.”

Currently manufacturing 1.5 million pairs of shoes each year in its Lancashire factory, Hotter began selling direct to customers in the 1990s and now has a 100-seater call centre, servicing both UK and US customers, based next to its factory.

”We have always been close to our customers; we understand their desire for stylish and trend-led shoes which incorporate the ‘comfort concept DNA’ that helps them enjoy their active lifestyles, added Mr Taylor. ”Our retail concept mirrors our home shopping experience, where our customers are made to feel comfortable and relaxed with outstanding service and thoughtful touches which bring them back time and again.”

According to Hotter, the design of its stores includes optimal height for customer seating, fitting stools, long shoe horns, relaxing lighting, natural wood and stone fittings, as well as fresh flowers at the entrance. This effort has been made to help create a comfortable environment which, the company says, brings 100,000 customers into its stores each week.

”The detailed demographic information we possess helps us identify Hotter hotspots,” Mr Taylor remarked. ”With this data as a starting point, our retail team familiarise themselves with target towns, checking anchor stores and ‘Hotter spotting’ on a variety of days and times. We have been thoughtful and deliberate with our strategy, spending time on the high street to see what is happening, reviewing every decision and always keeping the customer at the front of our mind.”

Photograph shows Hotter’s Milton Keynes Store Manager Karen Huzzey (on right) and her team.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 43 of the May 2013 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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