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Unbound signs deal with Marks & Spencer to sell Hotter Shoes

Lauretta Roberts
17 February 2022

Unbound Group, the newly listed parent company of Hotter Shoes, has sealed a deal with Marks & Spencer to sell its products via the retailer's Brands at M&S programme.

Hotter has launched on the M&S website today initially offering 32 products with plans to increase this to 75. The specially curated Hotter range for M& will be centred around comfort and active footwear and includes the comfort brand’s Gore-Tex range. Both women’s and men’s footwear ranges will be available. 

The move follows similar third-party partner deals for Hotter signed with John Lewis, The Very Group and Next.

Unbound made its debut on London's junior stock exchange, AIM, on 1 February as a prelude to the launch of a fashion, lifestyle and wellness platform targeting the over 55s market. The platform will sell Hotter's comfort footwear range as well as a selection of third-party brands.

The announcement of the M&S deal comes as the company, which has been undergoing a shift to a digital-first strategy, revealed growing sales in the year to 30 January 2022 in its first trading update as a listed business.

Revenues were up 16% to approximately £51.9m aided by significant increases in average selling prices in FY22 of over 16% compared to the prior year, and an improved gross margin to above 63% (up nine percentage points).

Its database of shoppers increased rapidly growing by over 35% in FY22, taking its emailable database to over one million.

On an IFRS basis, Hotter is expected to generate adjusted EBITDA of approximately £5.5m for FY22 (versus FY21 loss of £0.9m).

CEO Ian Watson said: “I am delighted that the progress we have made in resetting Hotter continues to be translated into improved financial performance and momentum. The partnership with M&S is further testimony to Hotter’s attractiveness to other best in class retail platforms. The development of the Unbound Group platform is also gathering pace, we have strengthened the management team and we are currently engaged in positive discussions with a number of potential partners.” 

Read our recent interview with CEO Ian Watson here.

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