Jobs created as footwear brand brings digital hub to Notts garden centre

The Hotter Footprint machine
X The Business Desk

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Hotter Shoes, the specialist comfort footwear brand, has opened its first digital hub just outside Nottingham.

The hub, at Notcutts Wheatcroft, uses bespoke shoe fitting technology as part of a new partnership with the nationwide garden centre group Notcutts. The move has created six jobs.

The opening is expected to be the first step in a long-term partnership with the nationwide garden centre group, with further openings planned for the future.

Post-pandemic, Hotter’s strategy is to offer bespoke shoe fitting experiences using the latest precision fit technology in-store, online and within its app. Its digital hubs will be installed with Footprint machines, which have 3D scanning technology for customers to understand their foot shape and measure foot length and width, giving a unique precision-fit service.

Andrew Tubb, head of retail at Hotter, said: “We’re really pleased to be partnering with Notcutts and expanding on our network. This is a great partnership, as we continue to seek the best places for our customers to conveniently shop in their local areas.

“Each of Hotter’s digital hubs will give customers the chance to have a bespoke measuring service, which is pivotal to finding shoes that are comfortable and well fitted; making a huge difference to foot health. This is an exciting step forward for Hotter as we move into the next stage of our growth and continually adjust to customer preferences in the way they shop.”

Jon Wilson, garden centre manager at Notcutts Wheatcroft, said: “We are delighted to welcome Hotter Shoes into our garden centre and look forward to growing the partnership. We know this will be well received by our customers and will enhance their shopping experience.”

Hotter has reported a 38% rise in sales from both online and physical retail this year compared to last year, and has invested more than £1.5m in technology during the last 18 months. This includes the recent launch of augmented reality within its app, which uses the same foot scanning technology as in-store; so customers can try products for fit, colour and design virtually.

Digital hubs will hold less inventory and will feature a digital kiosk so customers can browse all Hotter products – which have over 40 different fit combinations – before ordering directly from the Hotter warehouse.

Hotter has over 4 million customers in the UK and overseas buying online, through mail order and through targeted stores in the UK.