Hotter Shoes, a renowned footwear brand, is undergoing a significant transformation which includes a name change, relisting on a new exchange, and expanding into new categories. The company’s owner, Electra Private Equity Plc, has confirmed that the company will be renamed Unbound Group PLC. As part of this transformation, Unbound Group will be relisted on the AIM exchange, a popular choice for major fashion companies such as ASOS and Boohoo Group.

Unbound Group is striving to become an online multi-brand retail platform that caters specifically to the lifestyle needs of the 55+ demographic. The goal is to build upon the success of its flagship brand, Hotter Shoes, by offering a personalized selection of products and services. In addition to footwear, Unbound Group will expand its offerings to include clothing, wellness products, and lifestyle services. This expansion will include both third-party brands and new Unbound brands, alongside Hotter Shoes.

Hotter Shoes has established a strong following among the 55+ age group, a demographic that often feels neglected by the fashion and lifestyle industry’s focus on younger consumers. Unbound Group plans to capitalize on the customer database and digital infrastructure of Hotter Shoes to drive sales on the new platform. This will involve partnering with similar brands that cater to the needs and preferences of the 55+ demographic, enhancing the well-being and active lifestyles of Hotter’s customer community.

Ian Watson, the current CEO of Hotter Shoes, will lead Unbound Group as a whole. Hotter Shoes has successfully made the transition from primarily operating through physical stores and mail order to becoming an online-focused company. The company now reaches over 29% of the UK’s 55+ female population through its direct-to-consumer channels, with digital revenues accounting for over 75% of its turnover.

Unbound Group’s digital platform aims to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with select brands, with a primary focus on the 55+ demographic. The company is currently in discussions with multiple parties to secure its initial brand partners. It expects to generate revenues from non-Hotter products starting in the second quarter, with a long-term objective of deriving more than half of Unbound’s profits from these new product categories.

Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic, Hotter Shoes has continued to experience robust growth. In November and December, the company reported a 9% increase in revenues compared to the previous year, while maintaining a positive gross margin of 65.5%. These positive financial results underscore the success of Hotter Shoes’ online strategy and its commitment to serving the 55+ demographic.

The transformation of Hotter Shoes into Unbound Group signifies a strategic move to meet the evolving needs of the 55+ demographic. By diversifying its offerings and collaborating with complementary brands, Unbound Group envisions becoming a leading online retail platform for active and stylish lifestyles. With its established customer base and strong digital infrastructure, Unbound Group is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand within this untapped market segment.

Useful links:

AIM exchange
Unbound Group website