London, 24 May 2022 - Unbound Group plc has today announced that its curated online multi-brand retail platform will be powered by Mirakl, the industry’s first and most advanced enterprise marketplace SaaS platform.
Unbound Group is capitalising on the digital strengths, customer loyalty and powerful database of its core trading business, Hotter Shoes, the UK’s leading specialist footwear brand, to create a new multi-brand platform serving the 55+ demographic. Hotter has been transformed in the last 3 years into a digital-first, direct-to-consumer omnichannel brand, and currently serves a growing total customer database of 4.6m, which represents 29% of 55+ women in the UK.
By launching a Mirakl-powered Marketplace, Unbound Group is building on these strong digital foundations of Hotter to create a broader product portfolio that better meets the needs of its 55+ consumer, an audience segment that is growing twice as fast as the under 55s (+26% by 2039) and is currently underserved online.
The platform will enable Unbound Group to partner seamlessly with selected third-party brands and extend beyond its current core brand of Hotter Shoes to offer a broader range of products aligned with the brand’s DNA. Initially the Group will launch its partner brand offering within the footwear and apparel categories, to be followed by a wellness offer.
The Group has chosen to power its platform with the Mirakl solution for its recognised capacity to enable retailers to achieve the benefits of curation at scale: seamlessly onboarding partner brands and scaling their product offering, while still retaining control over their brand DNA. Mirakl’s technology also supports a frictionless experience for customers.
Unbound Group’s platform will be launched later this year, with a planned introduction of the platform at the end of July 2022 and a full autumn launch in early September 2022.
Since the Group announced its partnership strategy to third-party sellers in January, it has secured a number of partner brands to join the platform, which will be announced in due course. Partner brands are being refined via a selection process based on relevancy, desirability, specialism and sustainability criteria. Once brands join the platform, they will have direct access to the Group’s 4.6m consumers, £4m technology investment and marketing campaigns. This customer base will continue to increase as the Group prioritises converting its analogue and physical retail customers to digital customers.
Ian Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Unbound Group plc, commented:
"We are excited to announce we are building our new platform using Mirakl’s leading marketplace technology. We are leveraging our proven proposition to tap into the increasing number of 55+ consumers that are shopping online. Through our new platform, we are creating a Group that understands, connects with and sells to our key target consumer on a broader and deeper basis. Mirakl’s proven capabilities and scalable technology made them the obvious partner for us, bringing the technology, expertise and ecosystem that will help us to develop a truly curated platform at scale, which will be launched later this year."
Sophie Marchessou, Executive Vice President, Customer Success Beauty, Fashion, Home at Mirakl, added:
“Unbound Group is implementing an incredibly strong digital strategy. In choosing to power its new platform with the Mirakl Marketplace Platform, the Group is best positioned to scale its product offering at speed and test new categories beyond its current core brand offering, without taking any risk. Our technology and expertise will play a crucial role in powering a marketplace that will grow the Group’s business and help it to meet, and exceed, its customers’ needs.”
Mirakl offers the industry's first and most advanced enterprise marketplace SaaS platform. With Mirakl, organizations across B2B and B2C industries can launch marketplaces faster, grow bigger, and operate with confidence as they exceed rising customer expectations. Platforms are the new competitive advantage in eCommerce, and the world's most trusted brands choose Mirakl for its comprehensive solution of technology, expertise, and the Mirakl Connect ecosystem to unlock the power of the platform business model for them.
As a result, companies like ABB, Astore by AccorHotels, Best Buy Canada, Carrefour, Catch, Changi Airport, Darty, The Kroger Co., Leroy Merlin, Maisons du Monde, Metro, and Toyota Material Handling gain the speed, scale, and agility to win in the changing eCommerce landscape. For more information: www.mirakl.com.
About Unbound Group plc
Unbound Group plc is the parent company for a group selling a range of brands focused on the 55+ demographic. Unbound Group will build on the solid foundation of Hotter Shoes, its current main business, to grow value through its curated, multi-brand retail platform supporting the active lifestyles of the 55+ demographic with a range of products and services. Unbound Group’s expanded offering beyond footwear will feature a broad range of active lifestyle products and services, with third-party complementary brands featuring alongside new Unbound Group brands, as well as Hotter.
About Hotter Shoes – an Unbound Group Company
Hotter is one of the UK’s leading specialist footwear brands, selling over 1.4 million pairs of shoes per year. Hotter’s footwear has an uncompromising focus on ‘customised comfort’ and perfect fit through the use of its differentiating technology, including its e-commerce platform, 3D foot scanner and augmented reality app which enables the consumer to try products virtually from home. Hotter has been transformed from a retail to a digitally led, omni-channel business over the past 3 years, and sells its footwear globally to over 4 million customers online via its direct mail order channel and targeted 17 Technology Centres and 7 garden centre concessions in the UK. Digital partnerships have been established with several online retailers including Next, John Lewis, The Very Group and M&S. Hotter has a clearly defined, large and growing target demographic, and now reaches 29% of the female population in the UK over the age of 55.
Media contacts - Mirakl
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Media contacts - Unbound Group plc
Sofia Newitt , Vico Partners SNewitt@vicopartners.com / 020 3957 5045