Hotter Shoes, a specialist in footwear for the over 55s, is launching its own marketplace to sell selected third-party brands to its customer base, expanding its offering and cementing its position among its core demographic.
Hotter has been transformed in the last three years into a digital-first, direct-to-consumer omnichannel brand, currently serving a growing total customer database of 4.6m. This represents 29% of 55+ women in the UK. The over-55 market is growing twice as fast as the under-55 segment and is currently underserved online, believes the retailer.
Working with Mirakl, the marketplace platform will enable Unbound Group, Hotter’s parent, to partner seamlessly with selected third-party brands and extend beyond its current core brand of Hotter Shoes to offer a broader range of products aligned with the brand’s DNA. Initially the Group will launch its partner brand offering within the footwear and apparel categories, to be followed by a wellness offer.
Since the Group announced its partnership strategy to third-party sellers in January, it has secured a number of partner brands to join the platform, which will be announced in due course. Partner brands are being refined via a selection process based on relevancy, desirability, specialism and sustainability criteria. Once brands join the platform, they will have direct access to the Group’s onsumers, £4m technology investment and marketing campaigns. This customer base will continue to increase as the Group prioritises converting its analogue and physical retail customers to digital customers, says the retailer.
Unbound Group’s platform will be launched later this year, with a planned introduction of the platform at the end of July 2022 and a full autumn launch in early September 2022.
Ian Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Unbound Group plc, says: “We are excited to announce we are building our new platform using Mirakl’s leading marketplace technology. We are leveraging our proven proposition to tap into the increasing number of 55+ consumers that are shopping online. Through our new platform, we are creating a Group that understands, connects with and sells to our key target consumer on a broader and deeper basis. Mirakl’s proven capabilities and scalable technology made them the obvious partner for us, bringing the technology, expertise and ecosystem that will help us to develop a truly curated platform at scale, which will be launched later this year.”
Sophie Marchessou, Executive Vice President, Customer Success Beauty, Fashion, Home at Mirakl, adds: “Unbound Group is implementing an incredibly strong digital strategy. In choosing to power its new platform with the Mirakl Marketplace Platform, the Group is best positioned to scale its product offering at speed and test new categories beyond its current core brand offering, without taking any risk. Our technology and expertise will play a crucial role in powering a marketplace that will grow the Group’s business and help it to meet, and exceed, its customers’ needs.”