The Crocs Death Spiral

Manolo says, far be it from the Manolo to engage in the unseemly gloating, but…

Crocs have been on a downward spiral for months now. Fashion people have rejoiced at the thought of Crocs — the bubonic plague of footwear — succumbing to the economy and dying out altogether in the foreseeable future. Earlier this month, the company reported a loss of $22.4 million in the first quarter (last year they only lost $4.5 million in that period). The outlook seemed dismal for Crocs yet bright for feet everywhere! But like so many unattractive fashion trends (high-wasted tapered pants, Arden Wohl headbands, leg warmers, scrunchies … ), Crocs are poised to survive, quite possibly flourish. In March they brought on John Duerden as president and CEO. Charged with turning the company around, he’s painfully optimistic.

I had probably dismissed it as a fad. I thought, this is not going to last, but as I began to look at the company, it became clear to me that there was a passionate group of consumers out there … I still believe there is a buzz out there in the marketplace; there are consumers who like the idea of Crocs shoes.

Oh. Good. Heavens. Duerden plans to recover from the losses by laying people off, refining Crocs’s signature injection-molded technology, and continuing global expansion in markets like Japan and Southeast Asia.

The Bubonic Plague of Footwear“? Ha!

Clearly the Manolo’s work here is almost done.