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Unbound Group unveils multi-brand platform

Lauretta Roberts
28 July 2022

Unbound Group, parent of Hotter Shoes, has gone live with its multi-brand fashion and lifestyle platform for the over-55s.

The platform has been unveiled today and features the initial seven partner brands, including Birkenstock, Skechers, Rohan, Boody, Muck Boot Company, Hush Puppies and Hotter.

This initial launch focusing on specialist footwear will be followed by the full launch of the Autumn/Winter proposition in September. Unbound will facilitate active lifestyles for its target demographic and will offer a range of apparel, footwear and wellness products along with inspirational content.

Unbound intends to capitalise on its 4.6 million-strong customer base in its target market, built up via its comfort footwear brand Hotter. All partner brand relationships on the platform are designed to be capital light, operating a drop ship model with a fixed percentage commission payable on every sale. 

Unbound Group

Wellness products will be added to the offer in Q4, which the group is also developing its own brand apparel line. The group had said the further brand partnership deals are at an advanced stage with each brand being selected using data-driven insights, based on four key criteria: relevancy, desirability, specialism and sustainability. 

Unbound is based on the Mirakl platform, enabling it to scale easily by adding further partners and offering a frictionless experience for consumers.

“We are on track to deliver a successful launch of the Unbound platform and I am delighted to be taking the first step towards the Autumn Winter launch in early September in partnership with 14 carefully selected brands. We continue to use our data driven customer insight in conjunction with our technology and broader expertise to enhance our platform, strengthen our offering and optimise the user experience, which is expected to drive further customer engagement and loyalty in the medium term. 

"I am pleased with our progress to date. Alongside the continued momentum and brand strength of Hotter, we have seen strong uptake from a selection of leading partner brands, each of which offers something unique and additive to our loyal customers but are united under the Unbound Group umbrella. I am confident that each brand recognises the potential value our platform can bring to them, in turn encouraging future brands to join us on our curated, scalable platform. 

"Today’s launch is just the start. We look forward to seeing the continuing progress of the platform and the true potential of the full Unbound Group," said CEO Ian Watson.

The launch of the platform is the culmination of a plan drawn up by Watson to transform what was a retail-focused chain of Hotter Shoes stores into a digital-first business with the multi-brand platform at its heart. The business has retained some strategically located Hotter stores and has a concession deal with garden centre chain Nocutts. Hotter footwear is also available via third-party retailer platforms including Next, The Very Group, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis.

Formerly owned by investor Electra, the business was admitted to AIM in early 2022,

Listen to our recent podcast with Ian Watson of Unbound Group.

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