Hotter Shoes has stepped up production of its iconic shoes as more women than ever turn to the comfort shoe brand for their footwear solutions. The company is forecasting that production at its Lancashire factory will increase to 1.7 million in 2011, smashing its 2010 total of 1.3 million which earned it the accolade of UK’s biggest shoe maker.
Hotter Shoes’ range and merchandising director Paul Sayer said: “Women have always wanted stylish shoes but now they’re switching onto comfort which is great news for Hotter.
“Whether it’s a lifestyle choice or the barrage of high heel horror stories and photos of celebrity bunions we’ve seen recently, more women than ever are falling in love with our UK made comfort shoes.”
One in every three pairs of shoes made in the UK are now branded Hotter Comfort Concept, and incorporate the company’s trademark features: light, shock absorbing soles; smooth seams; deep toe boxes and quality leather uppers. The figures were confirmed in a survey of all UK based shoe makers by the British Footwear Association.
Things are going well for the company that started out manufacturing and selling slippers and now “makes shoes as comfortable as slippers”. Hotter Shoes will invest a further £500,000 in its factory this year to meet increased demand, positioning it as one of Europe’s most technologically advanced shoe making plants.
Paul Sayer added: “We have survived and thrived because we share a passion for products and service with our customers.”
“In economically challenging times we’re discovering that discerning women are investing in long lasting, stylish and comfortable footwear rather than throwaway fashion that often languishes at the back of the wardrobe before making it to the recycling bin.”
Richard Kottler, chief executive of the British Footwear Association commented: “Hotter’s dedication and vision for the future has lead them to become one of the most successful, and innovative, British shoe manufacturers. It’s rare these days for a British brand to manufacture such a high volume of quality footwear on site, the planned investment will see Hotter go from strength to strength – this is British manufacturing at its best.”
Hotter is enjoying buoyant sales and is planning a dynamic retail expansion. In 2010 Hotter opened six dedicated stores in the south of England. It has opened nine stores across the UK this year including Newcastle, Glasgow, Sheffield, Salisbury, and Stratford and plans to have 25 stores in its portfolio by the end of 2011.
The company is also shipping its trademark style and comfort direct to the US market, with Hotter Shoes now shipped direct to the United States from the company’s warehouse, and US customer calls serviced from the Skelmersdale call centre.