When Gresham Private Equity invested in Hotter Shoes in 2007, the company’s founder had ambitious plans to expand rapidly from its five stores to become an international brand offering footwear for the 50+ age group. After investing, Gresham strengthened the board, supported investment in the website, improved IT systems and helped develop the brand by launching new products.
With Gresham’s support, the company has opened 51 new standalone branches across the UK, created over 500 new jobs, developed a strong presence in the US, started exploring opportunities in the Middle East, Russia and Germany and grew online sales by more than 300%. With a track record of more than doubling sales over the previous four years, Gresham sold Hotter to Electra Partners in 2014.
We would like to thank Gresham for a very successful partnership. Hotter has gone from strength to strength over the last six years, growing in the UK and internationally, despite challenging times for retail globally.
Peter Taylor CEO, Hotter Shoes
What did the business need?
- Capital to expand through new store openings
- Strategic support for an entrepreneurial founder owner
- Investment in marketing and product development
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Developed a conventional board structure, adding seven seasoned executives
- Improved IT systems with a particular focus on generating more online sales
- Improved operations to support rapid store opening plans
- Combined in-house and outsourced manufacturing with state of the art manufacturing facilities
- Expanded into the US market
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Created 560 new jobs
- Expanded from five to 56 retail sites across the UK, with 20+ new sites planned per year
- Attracted active customer base of over 800,000 in the UK
- Grew US active customer base from zero to over 80,000
- Increased web sales by 30% a year