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Agility amid Uncertainty: Ian Watson, CEO, Unbound Group, parent company of Hotter Shoes

| 10 June 2022

Welcome to ‘Agility amid Uncertainty’ our latest podcast in partnership with international logistics company Advanced Supply Chain Group. In this series we will explore how six leading fashion retailers are managing their businesses in the face of some of the greatest disruption the world has experienced in a lifetime.

It would be hard to find a better example of someone who has demonstrated agility (and a whole lot of energy and enthusiasm) in the face of uncertainty than Ian Watson. Ian is CEO of Unbound Group, parent company of British comfort footwear brand Hotter Shoes, which is about to launch a fully fledged apparel, footwear and lifestyle platform for the over 50s market.

Ian took on the CEO role at Hotter just before the pandemic dawned, knowing that he had to execute a turnaround on behalf of its then owner, the private equity house Electra. What he didn’t know, and what none of us knew, was that he’d have to restructure the business in the midst of one of the most extraordinary and disruptive of global events, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ian pivoted the business to a digital first model, closing most, but not all, of its retail stores, and investing heavily in product development and fit technology, which is employed in-store, online and via its innovative app. At the end of the process he floated the business on the London Stock Exchange at the start of the year and revealed his plans for the Unbound multi-brand platform, which will be unveiled later this summer.

Ian tells Lauretta Roberts, Editor in chief of about the incredible journey he has taken with the business over the past few years and his future vision for the company as it plans to take an underserved market by storm.


Listen to episode one of this series feat. Mint Velvet here.

Listen to episode two of this series feat. Boohoo here.

Listen to episode three of this series feat. Jigsaw here.

Listen to episode four of this series feat. ASCG here.


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