If you said Hotter Shoes to me a couple of weeks ago, I would have instantly thought comfy shoes for older ladies. They say never judge a book by its cover and this is one of those times. The lovely Jenni from Hotter’s PR & Social Media Team was looking for bloggers to come to an event at the York store which is right on my doorstep. I got in touch and decided it would be great to learn more about the company and brand rather than assume it was never going to be a shop I would buy from.
Last Tuesday I raced from work to the event and got there bang on 6:30pm. Luckily a few other bloggers were still to turn up so it gave me time to grab a (large) glass of Prosecco and browse the store taking some photos. The store was nicely laid out and beautifully fresh in colour making it warm and inviting. The wonderful staff had stayed on to help us bloggers out and get to know more about the company.
The evening started with some nibbles during a presentation from Jenni about the company. The company started as Beaconsfield footwear in 1959 making Slippers. As we all know, slippers are pretty seasonal and if you’re like me, you only wear them in Winter. The company realised this pretty quickly and decided to branch out into more footwear options.
The company stocked their shoes in Tesco, Asda, Makro and Woolworth’s however they were still Beaconsfield footwear at this stage and the Hotter brand had not yet started. By 1982 the company were investing in injection moulding on their shoes and in 1992, they used direct moulding to create a shoe perfectly moulded to the foot.
In 1996 the company launched its first ever catalogue featuring the iconic Dew design in 13 colours. One year later the company invested in a direct moulding machine dubbed the Rolls Royce of shoe making machines and opened a 20 seater call centre at the same time.
Fast forward to 2002 when the company opened their first store in Southport, and a mere year later, a new factory was opened due to the company’s growth. By 2010 the company only had 5 stores open and to date there is now an incredible 75 stores open.
2010 was a busy year for the company as they also decided to launch in the US. They currently have a call centre that seats 120-140 staff servicing US & UK customers across many time zones. By 2014 they branched out again but this time to Germany, even going as far as creating a dedicated website for German customers.
2015 was a huge year when Hotter won the Queens Award for Enterprise!
After the presentation, I definitely felt like I understood the history and also took it all in. It was interesting and kept our attention throughout the 15 minutes. Next up was shoe-trying-on time, which is always amazing. As a shoe lover and owner of many pairs, I loved trying on my favourite shoes. I tried on a gorgeous little leopard print pair as well as the Brierton shoes in chestnut. I was lucky enough to get to choose a pair to take away and review and after falling in love with the Brierton, walked away with them at the end of the evening. I also spent a good 15 minutes chatting to one of the shoe designers who happened to come along to the evening as well. I can’t remember her name which has frustrated me for days now, but she was so lovely and nice to chat to. She even gave me some insight into upcoming trends which was exciting.
One thing I found when going round the store was that I actually wanted to buy loads of the shoes, which I never expected when I first went there. I know the brand pride themselves on their comfort concept which is easy to see and feel when you try the shoes on. I will be honest and say I was pleasantly surprised by the styles I found and will definitely be going there in future for some good, long-lasting shoe options. The ladies shoes come in sizes 3-9 including half sizes and the mens come in sizes 6-12.
If I can say one thing, then it would be to give it a go, speak to the wonderful staff who know their stuff, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I will be recommending these shoes to my friends and family, and definitely shop there myself in future. Check out my gorgeous shoes below, it will make you very jealous and want to run out and buy your own pair!
I hope this has inspired you to check out Hotter if you haven’t already.