Iconic British footwear brand with Scottish stores to stride into stock market

Interior of the Dr Martens shop in Princes Street, Edinburgh, taken before the pandemic. Picture: Toby WilliamsInterior of the Dr Martens shop in Princes Street, Edinburgh, taken before the pandemic. Picture: Toby Williams
Interior of the Dr Martens shop in Princes Street, Edinburgh, taken before the pandemic. Picture: Toby Williams
Iconic footwear brand Dr Martens has revealed plans to float on the London Stock Exchange as it steps up its growth plans.

The company – best known for its chunky boots – is currently owned by private equity firm Permira, which would sell down its stake as part of the proposed market listing.

The footwear firm already sells in excess of 11 million pairs of shoes annually in more than 60 countries.

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Chief executive Kenny Wilson highlighted the brand’s “significant global growth potential” as it hopes to expand further through increased investment.

The retail brand, which launched its first boot in 1960, posted £672 million in revenues in the financial year to the end of March. Over the same period, it delivered £184m in earnings.

Group revenues of £318.2m were achieved for the six months to September, delivering 18 per cent growth year-on-year despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The brand sells a large proportion of its products through partner retailers, but is looking to expand its own retail operations.

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Dr Martens runs 130 of its own stores across the globe, while sales from its own online business have grown to represent a fifth of all its revenues. Scottish stores in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are temporarily closed due to Covid restrictions.

Wilson added: “The announcement of our intention to float reflects the great achievements of the Dr Martens team and brand over the last seven years.

“Our iconic brand appeals to a diverse range of consumers around the world who wear our footwear to express their individual style.

“We have invested massively to ensure that we deliver the best digital and store experiences to connect with our wearers, and through this we are driving our long term, sustainable growth.”

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AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “The imminent arrival of boot maker Dr Martens to the London Stock Exchange is interesting timing, coming so soon after the Brexit trade deal and revival in the UK market with the FTSE 100 having enjoyed its best start ever to a calendar year. If ever there was a good time to market a well-known British name to investors, it is now.”

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