Casual shoes sales bump for Hotter

Skelmersdale-based Hotter Shoes has enjoyed a boost to the number of casual shoes it sells as lockdown living has led customers to seek out comfort.

The company has seen demand for active and outdoor shoes increase by 65 per cent in July 2021 compared to July 2019. The category now accounts for 20 per cent of its total footwear sales, up from 11 per cent in July 2019.

The figures follow a global trend which, according to data published by Mintel, has seen a 27 per cent increase in footwear sales growth worldwide in 2020, equivalent to £3.6bn. This has been driven by comfort wear including slippers, which are now the second most purchased type of women’s footwear.

Ian Watson, CEO of Hotter Shoes, said: “There’s been an ongoing shift in footwear trends and corresponding sales during recent years which have been amplified by the pandemic as outdoor leisure and staycations surged and office working, which typically fuels the formal wear market, declined. We anticipate this demand for active footwear will only continue."

At the start of the pandemic, Hotter launched 32 new styles in its comfort and casual lines. The company has also invested heavily in technology and focused on enhancing its customer experiences online and in-store. It has installed Footprint technology in its 17 stores, providing a 3D foot scanning facility to accurately measure foot width and size.

Alongside this, Hotter was the first brand in its category to launch Augmented Reality in its app for customers to try on products virtually from anywhere in the world.

Victoria Betts, chief commercial officer at Hotter, said: "While the last 18 months have been challenging for so many reasons in the retail sector, we’ve been sure to focus on what will secure future growth and longevity for the Hotter brand.

"We’ve harnessed leading technology alongside developing fantastic, relevant products and brilliant in-store and online experiences to provide excellent customer service. The future of the retail sector depends on a hybrid of all of these elements."

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