Stephen Hawthornthwaite, Chairman and CEO of Rothy’s
In this episode of Talks at GS, Rothy’s CEO Stephen Hawthornthwaite discusses co-founding and growing a company with a focus on sustainability and his perspectives on the future of the retail landscape both online and in stores.
On growing the company with a focus on sustainability: “We were very focused on having a beautiful product, having a comfortable product and a sustainable product. And what's interesting is you look at each of those categories and fashionable products aren't always comfortable… Comfortable products sometimes aren't the most attractive. And sustainable products, historically, haven't been made with the quality and attention to detail that they deserve. So we felt in our guts that if we could take all of that and combine it into one shoe, that we’d be on to something big.”
On the future of the retail landscape: “E-commerce will continue to be the disproportionate amount of revenue at the company, just by definition given the strategic locations we want to have in retail. Retail is a very natural acquisition channel for us – a way for people to experience the brand, to hear the story, to try on shoes and so it will always be part of the strategy going forward. What I would also say is that our small footprint really yields productive stores for us… And we believe there is synergy between those retail stores and our online experience, particularly once someone is able to go into a store, can try on fit, and then continue buying online.”