The story of a store

8 intelligent opinions, leave yours.
Our opening team, from left, Redmond, Rosemary (from Glasgow), Jen (Store Manager), Michelle, Ibrahim, Pam, Kelly, Chelsea (from Newcastle), Siobhan, Rik (Assistant Manager), Jess (from Harrogate)
Ever wondered what goes into transforming a shop into a Hotter store?

IMG_6637Our team of experts have been fine tuning their skills by opening over 70 stores all over the UK in the past five years; and now we’re delighted to open the doors to show you how our team creates these speedy transformations. Our time lapse video takes you from day one to opening day in a matter of seconds and our man on the ground, Redmond Cliff, explains how 3,986 boxes of shoes, boots and slippers are brought into store, packed and put away, staff are trained and every little detail is made perfect in just 48 hours.

Let the transformation begin!

The story of a store actually starts with the team who find our locations around the UK. They scrutinise statistics to discover the best positions, whether it’s a city centre location with lots of visitors like Leeds, historic centres like Windsor or Bath or seaside destinations like Eastbourne or Southport.

Then it’s all about location, location, location! Our team takes time to get to know the new towns, discover the places where Hotter customers like to shop and then try to find suitable properties with enough room for a spacious sales floor and lots of shoes!

Once negotiations are complete (imagine a house move but with more paperwork!) we receive the keys and work can commence. We’ve been working with a group of architects and builders for several years, so they know what we want and can adapt all the key features. We have special areas for different collections of shoes, lots of space to make the store light and airy and plenty of seating and fittings to ensure our assistants can offer a great service to customers. And every store has a quirky local detail to make each store unique – have you spotted any on your visits to our stores?

The team of builders, joiners, electricians and painters take just four weeks to make the transformation complete, but as you can see from our video there’s still a lot of boxes to unpack before we can welcome in our customers at last.

IMG_6566

Redmond with the team

How many boxes!?

Redmond Cliff joined Hotter 2 years ago working as an advisor in our call centre. His knowledge of Hotter products and service have been a fantastic asset in his new role in Retail Support, but even he was shocked at his first store opening when nearly 4,000 pairs of shoes had to be taken up a very small, and winding, staircase to create the new Leeds store room. Here’s his story…

“We have just 48 hours to stock our new store, make it look perfect and train new staff how to use our computer systems. Our store manager will have been recruited the previous month and will have selected the new team, who will be trained on product and fitting in the days before the final store fit. But this is the first time they’ll have experienced our shop floor and it’s up to us to create the stock room so it’s ready for our first customers.

“We’re joined by a manager from another store, who has lots of experience, and in Leeds the lovely Jess from Harrogate joined our set up crew. We meet at 7am on the Thursday before the store opens on the Saturday to clear everything ready for delivery.

“First we take cartons of shoes off the lorry, fill the store and then split up – half of us take shoes upstairs, and half arrange shelves alphabetically, and then by colour, size and width, which is around 350 combinations. Once everything is upstairs we put the furniture in position, clean the store and the visual merchandiser, Amy, works her magic.

“On day two, we double check the stock room so everything is in place and then there’s additional training. Everyone picks their new uniform shoes and has a chance to role play fitting, stock checking, buying shoes and explaining the benefits of our shoe care products. The windows are the last thing to be revealed as we peel down the cover-up stickers and we’re ready for opening on Saturday at 9am sharp!”

Role play to help our assistant discover their perfect fit.

So does everything go right, you can bet it doesn’t, as Redmond revealed…

The delivery was later than expected and didn’t have the lift at the back of the truck to lower the pallets, so every carton had to be taken down individually and then had to be reloaded onto pallets in the street. It was touch and go, but the team managed to get everything unloaded by 10.30pm, just as the traffic wardens were hovering!

At 12noon on the Friday our tills decided to give up so, like a knight in shining armour, Chris from our IT department, drove over from HQ to fix them.

By 5pm on Friday, time to go home, we took down the stickers covering the window, only to discover they had been fixed on with industrial strength super glue which clearly wasn’t intended to be used on windows… 7.30pm and we were still scrubbing away!

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone in our retail team who make our stores look so fabulous, and serve our customers so well, from Aberdeen to Truro and everywhere in between. And Redmond … we’ll make sure that whoever organises the glue gets the right kind next time!

Did you know you can find your nearest Hotter store by using our Store Locator . Our stores are in amazing locations so if you’re planning a UK staycation why not see if there’s one near your destination.

Which Hotter store have you visited? Maybe you’ve visited more than one? Have you noticed a quirky local detail? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

8 Comments

  • Kathleen Coutts says:

    My nearest store is in St Albans. The staff are very helpful especially Craig.
    I hadn’t received a handbag that had been ordered a couple of months previous because it was out of stock, as soon as I mentioned it Craig even new the colour of it and it was delivered a few days later. Brilliant service and a big thank you to Craig.
    I love Hotter so much that I have bought about 10 pairs of shoes this year so far. I’m waiting for your next 3 for 2 offer to get more boots to add to my boot collection from last year.
    Thank you Hotter. I get so excited when a new catalogue comes out.

    Regards
    Kathleen Coutts.

    • Hotter says:

      Hi Kathleen, thanks for your comments, we’ll make sure that Craig and our St Albans team hear all about it. Ten pairs… wow! Thanks for the support – have you warned the mail man about 3 for 2! Hope you find even more shoes and boots to fall in love with, best wishes Mel

  • Ann Davies says:

    I am now the proud owner of three pairs of your wedges – Hattie, Dawn and Gaby! They are really comfortable and I have had so many lovely comments when I’ve been wearing them! Well done Hotter!

    • Hotter says:

      Hi Ann, sounds like you’ve fallen in love with some stylish heels with comfort built in! Our designers have been working hard to create even more for next season, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! Keep an eye out on our blog for a sneaky peak later in the season. Best wishes Mel

  • Mrs Pamela Jones says:

    Brilliant email. It is lovely to see what goes one behind the scenes.. Only wish my sister in NZ could have seen this, but I couldn’t see any way of forwarding it to here.
    I started buying your shoes when K shoes were taken over by Clark. Your shoes are so comfy. I now have a wardrobe full of them. Another thing I like is the lovely variety of colours too.
    Well done.

    • Hotter says:

      Hi Pamela – all you need to do to find our blog is click on ‘Our Story’ on the right at the top of our website, and then click on ‘It’s A Shoe Thing’. You’ll find all the stories and we’ll be updating them regularly. Thanks for all your support, delighted you enjoy our shoes – we love colour and hopefully there’s something new for you to try each season. Many thanks Mel

  • Michael Forwood says:

    I am trying to buy a new pair of shoes brown with lace ups. Your catalogue came thru my door and I thought good. You claim that you can provide shoes with a wide or extra wide fitting but when I try to select I always get the standard fit and cannot amend it. Your lance shoe size 11 will do but I am just about to give up.
    Regards

    • Hotter says:

      Hi Michael, our Lance shoe comes with a dual fit – which means there are two insoles in the shoes so you can remove one if you need to for extra width. We have some Hotter experts (Personal Shoppers) who would be happy to talk you through any fitting questions – you can call them for free on 0800 083 3083. Hope this helps, never give up! You can always contact us at weloveshoes@hotter.com, best wishes Mel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *