Hotter has launched its first pop-up store as it focuses on the customer experience across channels. The retailer is now using precision fit technology online, on its app, and in stores including the new Trafford Centre, Manchester, pop-up shop. Its Solihull store is the first of its permanent high street stores to be redesigned on more experiential lines, and will be fully operational in the next few weeks.
The new stores enable shoppers to explore the Hotter brand and range through iPad-equipped seating areas and touchscreen pods. Its foot scanner machines offer shoe size measuring via 3D technology.
Hotter is also opening digital kiosks at some branches of the Notcutts garden centre group, at a time when it is winning 90% of all new customers online.
The shoe brand, ranked Top100 in RXUK Top500 research, has doubled down on its digital-first strategy over the last year – and is now innovating through investing in motion mapping tables, to provide an immersive digital experience where customers can interact with products. In the first six months of the year it reported sales 25% ahead of last year. Its parent company Unbound Group is to list on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in the final quarter of this year.
Victoria Betts, chief commercial officer at Hotter, says: “Around 40% of in-store orders are now ordered directly from our warehouse and we expect this to rise with the continuation of our Retail 2.0 strategy.
“The transformation of our physical store network, alongside opening up pop-up units and garden centre digital kiosks, is about adapting the way we interact with customers as they continually seek more from in-person shopping experiences.
“Change in the retail sector is happening at a phenomenal pace and we’re continually innovating and refreshing. This strategy perfectly complements our digital-first approach, which has been embraced by customers and staff, allowing us to deliver high quality products direct to doors and support Hotter’s growth even through the coronavirus lockdowns.”
Hotter sells online, mail order and via 17 UK stores and six concessions.