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.

6 Responses to “The Crocs Death Spiral”

  1. Terry May 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    Manolo, you’re undertaking a very worthy cause. Apparently, Duerden has to promote Crocs on the other side of the planet in Asia to find a fresh market.
    Once they get turned off, he better hope that the Hubble Telescope discovers some other markets for him to turn to. I sincerely hope the global economy never gets so bad that Crocs become more palatable.

  2. Jeana May 27, 2009 at 4:47 am #

    Unfortunately Asia might be a good market for Crocs. I live in Taipei and there are several outlets in the major shopping areas. I see many people wearing them. Also, imitation products are ubiquitous (it is, after all, Asia).

  3. Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    I too live in Taiwan, and in my city it seems like everybody has crocs (or imitation crocs, usually), especially kids. I imagine that they have a lot of appeal to people who have to deal with typhoons and monsoons all the time.

  4. Icy May 28, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Down with crocs!!!

  5. ersin May 30, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    i hate crocs!!

  6. dangster June 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    I just came back from a trip to Japan, and I am sad to say that, as a city that has some of the best dressed people in the world, Tokyo has a surprisingly high number of Crocs-wearers–both men and women alike.