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The Demise of the Croc | Manolo's Shoe Blog

The Demise of the Croc

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.
Radioactive Orange Crocs
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.

7 Responses to “The Demise of the Croc”

  1. aimee July 16, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    As much as I love my (ridiculous) heel collection, they aren’t too useful when painting a house or working in the garden. But, I have enough Crocs to last me for a while!

  2. Linda July 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    I Love Crocs….I have 5 pairs and there is nothing more comfortable. My husband has a bad back and he loves his Crocs too!

  3. La Petite Acadienne July 17, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    I loathe the original Croc — it looks like the misbegotten love child of a nursing shoe and a cheap bath toy. Sadly, though, the demise of the Croc will only mean that another horrifically ugly, inexplicably popular shoe will soon rise up, like some dystopian phoenix, to take its place.

    I did cave while in my 7th month of pregnancy and bought a pair of the Croc “Adara” sandals, for the sole reason that NO other shoes I owned (or tried on) would fit over my abnormally swollen feets. And sadly, La Petite Acadienne lacks the creative skill to make her own shoes from the leftover cracker boxes and bits of grosgrain ribbon (which undoubtedly would have been an better option.)

    I share the Manolo’s sentiments: I am delighted to witness the demise of the Croc, but in today’s economy, anything that results in job losses is a cause for mourning, not celebration.

  4. phyllis July 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    Looks like the company was managed about as well as Krispy Kreme. Makes sense since Crcos are Krispy Kreme’s for the feet.

  5. Jennifer July 21, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    ROFL @ THIS: (Being the low level Croc employee is sort of like being one of the independent contractors building the Death Star.)

    But kidding aside, while they are fuglier than Satan himself (in the world of shoes anyway), it is a sad thing when it affects people’s jobs and a company as a whole. It just goes to show that success can always be a temporary thing.



  6. Jolene Christopherson January 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Interesting news about crocs. I didn’t not know they were in such financial hardship. Bunny about crocs though too in that just like Dansko nursing shoes, initially the appearance is somewhat of a turn off, their comfort is outstanding as well as the fact that they are both an extremely durable. So far though, the Dansko Company seems to be doing extremely well in their footwear line. Maybe Crocs would have had more success if they expanded to cover a variety of shoe types…but then again there is that look we have to contend with.