Dr Martens says boot prices will rise to cover rising costs | Dr Martens

Dr. Martens will raise the price of his boots by 6% as he says the cost of labor, energy and supplies, including bouncy soles and leather, have gone up.

The Northamptonshire-based shoe group will raise prices for the second year in a row on the classic boot, which currently costs around £159, adding £10 to the price. The hike will come next fall to reflect higher production costs that the company has now locked in over the next year.

Announcing its half-year results, Dr Martens revealed a disappointing 5% drop in pre-tax profits in the six months to September 30 despite a 13% increase in sales, as the company said it had invested more in marketing, the staff and new stores.

The company said around £10m of expected sales during the period were delayed due to strikes at the port of Felixstowe and staff shortages at its distribution center in the Netherlands.

Kenny Wilson, chief executive of Dr Martens, said he was “very confident about our prospects for Christmas”.

He said the group was still seeing an inflation in the cost of supplies “in all areas”, from the petroleum-based product used to make its soles, to leather and energy.

“We will only raise prices to cover inflation. This year we raised prices for the first time in two years and will hedge inflation next year,” Wilson added.

Staff costs are rising and Dr Martens is offering a £500 cost of living bonus – paid in October and November – to around 2,000 of his 3,500 workers worldwide. The payment will go to staff who work at least 20 hours a week and earn less than the equivalent of £45,000 a year – from factory and head office in the UK to purchasing teams in the US, in Europe, South Korea and Bangladesh.

Wilson said the company was making the payment as its workers faced “very challenging levels of inflation” around the world: “At the end of the day, people are the differentiator. We have a very engaged workforce and wanted to show that we care about the people who work for Dr. Martens, and actions speak louder than words.

Shares fell nearly 24% as the company warned of ‘choppy trading’ in recent weeks, in part due to mild autumn weather in the UK and Europe, and said profit margins would suffer.

John Stevenson, retail analyst at brokers Peel Hunt, said the figures indicated “some concern for apparel stocks at the height of trading, reflecting these higher stock levels and unfavorable weather conditions”.

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