Dr Martens kickstarts plan to join stock market

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Footwear brand Dr Martens is considering selling shares in the business to stock market investors.

The company sells 11 million pairs of footwear a year in more than 60 countries, with annual sales of £672m.

Its best-known product is the eight-holed 1460, which was initially made as a work boot in Northampton in 1960.

Dr Martens’ most recent figures show rising sales, despite Covid-related restrictions on its stores, as it shifts more sales direct to consumers.

The company’s air-cushioned sole was developed by Munich-based Dr Maertens and Dr Funck and the UK patent rights were sold to R Griggs Group.

The footwear that emerged from their collaboration was initially sold as a work boot, but was taken up by the early skinhead youth movement of the 1960s.

The boots also become popular with punks in the 1970s and had a resurgence when Britpop emerged in the 1990s.

The company has been owned by Luxembourg-based IngreLux since 2014, which is linked to private equity giant Permira.

Dr Martens chief executive Kenny Wilson said the business had “significant global growth potential”, adding that the company had invested “massively” in the business, both online and instore.