Manolo says, many, many, many of the Manolo’s internet friends have sent the Manolo the link to this story.
Crocs were born of the economic boom.
The colorful foam clogs appeared in 2002, just as the country was recovering from a recession. Brash and bright, they were a cheap investment (about $30) that felt good and promised to last forever. Former president George W. Bush wore them. Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler wore them. Your grandma wore them. They roared along with the economy, mocked by the fashion world but selling 100 million pairs in seven years.
Then the boom times went bust, and Crocs went to the back of the closet.
The company had expanded to meet demand, but financially pressed customers cut back. Last year the company lost $185.1 million, slashed roughly 2,000 jobs and scrambled to find money to pay down millions in debt. Now it’s stuck with a surplus of shoes, and its auditors have wondered if it can stay afloat. It has until the end of September to pay off its debt.
“The company’s toast,” said Damon Vickers, who manages an investment fund at Nine Points Capital Partners in Seattle. “They’re zombie-ish. They’re dead and they don’t know it.”
On the one hand the Manolo wishes to shout, “Ding Dong, the Crocs are dead!”, and yet on the other of the hands, he feels very sorry for the many people who will be harmed by the consequent loss of employment. (Being the low level Croc employee is sort of like being one of the independent contractors building the Death Star.)
By the way, one reason for the demise of Crocs the Company? The toxic durability of their product.
But the shoes were hitting a saturation point; the problem with a nearly indestructible product is that shoppers rarely need to replace it.
Who needs a second pair of Crocs in a recession, particularly when the first pair is holding up just fine?
Indeed, who needs the first pair, recession or not?
However, once acquired, it appears that the Crocs are like radioactive waste: they have the lengthy half-life in your closet.