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Dr. Martens emphasises role of ecommerce and a direct-to-consumer strategy as it announces flotation plans

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Dr. Martens today said that ecommerce will drive its growth in coming years as part of a direct-to-consumer strategy as it set out its plans for a London stockmarket flotation.

The footwear brand, known for its work boots that have been adopted by youth cultures over the course of its history, is ranked Top250 in RXUK Top500 research. It says it will continue to sell direct online and through its more than 130 own shops as it grows the business for the future. 

In the year to March 31 2020, 45% of its £672.2m sales came via direct-to-consumer sales. Twenty per cent came via ecommerce and 25% through its stores. The remaining 55% balance came via its wholesale channel.  The proportion of online sales rose to 24% during the six months to September 30 following Covid-19 lockdowns, while in-store sales fell to 11%. 

Dr Martens, founded in 1960, was bought by Luxembourg-based IngreLux in 2014. Since then it has focused on the direct-to-consumer channel as the route for it to reach its full potential. In today’s statement it says: “A direct-to-consumer channel strategy allows for more direct touchpoints with consumers, better showcase of the footwear and the brand, access to more data, and more controlled and strategic management of the brand.”

The brand makes its sales in EMEA (43%), the Americas (37%), and the Asia Pacific region (20%). 

Kenny Wilson, chief executive of Dr. Martens, says: “The announcement of our intention to float reflects the great achievements of the Dr. Martens team and brand over the last seven years. Even more important is the significant global growth potential for Dr. Martens in the future. Our iconic brand appeals to a diverse range of consumers around the world who wear our footwear to express their individual style. We have invested massively to ensure that we deliver the best digital and store experiences to connect with our wearers, and through this we are driving our long term, sustainable growth.

“It is the people of Dr. Martens who make the brand and the culture so unique, and I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to them for their passion and effort in growing our business so significantly and in delivering through the testing times of the pandemic over the last year. We have an exciting future ahead of us both as a plc and also as we continue to build and develop the Dr. Martens brand.”

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