Hotter Shoes, the leading British brand of comfort shoes, plans to start selling in Germany next year. After entering the U.S. market, it has also been exploring further opportunities in new markets such as the Middle East and Russia, where it already has a presence. It also trades in South Africa and Hong Kong.
The company has also announced that it will launch the international version of its website in the first half of 2014 to help drive further sales increases in the U.S. and to support “the roll-out of our sales channels in other markets.” Customers will be able to order Hotter shoes online also from Germany, a spokesperson added.
In an unusual press release, Hotter Shoes reported a few days ago that its sales grew by 9 percent to £74.9 million (€89.7m-$120.5m) in 2012, helping us to complete our brown shoe charts. Its sales outside the U.K. grew by 44 percent, driven by a second consecutive year of strong performance in the U.S., but company officials declined to mention precise figures, leaving us to guess its sales in that market.
Hotter said its online sales grew by more than 20 percent last year, helped by investments in its website, an enhanced digital marketing program and improved data processing infrastructures. Mail order sales have been above expectations
Meanwhile, Hotter has been opening more stores in the U.K. They are now 58, up from 42 at the same time a year ago, and five more are due to come onstream before the end of this year.
The company also invested in the development of its brand by launching new stylish and ultra-comfortable products across wider demographic groups, beyond its existing base of one million customers in the U.K. and overseas.
Founded in 1959 as a manufacturer of slippers in Lancashire, Hotter is now offering a wider collection that comprises more stylish women's and men's shoes with a “hidden Comfort Concept.” The company employs more than 1,000 people and its factory produces 1.6 million pairs of shoes annually, making it the largest shoe manufacturer in the U.K.
Peter Chappelow, chairman of Hotter, disclosed that the latest results mean that the company has been able to double its turnover over the last four years. Hotter has also been generating better margins as its underlying profits grew by 16 percent in the past year, the company's press release says, without indicating the actual profit level reached.