The Countess of Wessex has visited the UK’s biggest shoe maker Hotter Comfort Concept to discover how the company makes 1.6 million pairs of stylish, comfortable shoes each year.
Her Royal Highness took part in a tour of the factory, met staff in the company’s UK and USA customer service centres and was introduced to the team behind Hotter’s current retail expansion programme, which has spearheaded the opening of over 35 stores in the past two years.
“We were delighted to welcome our Royal visitor and show her the passion and pride of our very British brand,” said Stewart Houlgrave, Hotter Comfort Concept Founder and CEO. “The Countess was a wonderfully charming guest, who was genuinely interested in what we were doing and took time to speak with many of our staff, immediately putting them at their ease. Everyone was delighted to have the honour of such a distinguished visitor at our headquarters and the seven longest serving staff who were introduced to Her Royal Highness have already said that meeting her was the highlight of their combined 263 years service.”
Hotter manufactures one third of all shoes currently made in the UK in its Lancashire factory which, when combined with its innovative multi-channel retailing, makes Hotter a very unique brand. Hotter’s comfy women’s shoes are sold via mail order, www.hotter.com and branded stores nationwide and the company employs nearly 800 people across the UK.
“We are fiercely proud of our British heritage and we invest and reinvest in development and new technology to continually improve our ‘Comfort Concept’ and wow our customers,” added Stewart.
At the end of HRH’s tour she was presented with a pair of Hotter shoes by Stuart Brooks, Assistant Manager of Hotter’s Bournemouth store, and Yvonne Hamilton from the company’s warehouse.