Posts Tagged ‘high heeled shoes’

Can Crocs Be More Than a One-Hit Wonder?

Never had a pair of these colorful plastic potato-shaped shoes, so add one more to the un-crocced planet walkers. – Ilene  

Can Crocs Be More Than a One-Hit Wonder?

By Tara Kelly, courtesy of TIME

crocsThere was a time a few years ago when it seemed that the only people on the planet not wearing a pair of Crocs — those quirky, brightly colored rubber clogs — were hard-core fashionistas and Somali nomads. Actually, even Somali nomads were probably wearing them. President George W. Bush had at least one pair. So did Rosie O’Donnell and George Clooney. As well as, oh, about 2 billion children. Sales at the Colorado-based company climbed from a meager $24,000 in 2002 to more than $847 million in 2007. When Crocs went public in February 2006, it raised $208 million — the largest shoe-firm IPO in market history.

Then fortunes turned. Demand for Crocs, which are named after a crocodile because they can be worn on both land and in the water, began to cool in early 2008. Throw in the global downturn and sales tumbled 15% to $721.5 million in 2008, leading to a loss of $185 million, following a profit of $168 million a year earlier. Its share price plummeted from a high of $74 in November 2007 to a low of just $1.05 last November. It was, says John Duerden, Crocs’ chief executive, "the perfect storm."

Crocs’ journey from hot to not is a familiar tale. Reinventing yourself from a one-hit wonder into a profitable, long-term company has to be one of the biggest challenges in business. Plenty fail. Remember Beanie Babies? LA Lights? Slap-on bracelets? Duerden, 68, who joined Crocs in March from the London-based brand consultancy Chrysalis Group, says he can help Crocs avoid disappearing altogether and turn the company into "a financially stable company and brand."

The crucial first step is to lower costs, inventory and manufacturing infrastructure to levels more in line with demand. Overzealous production had left the company with millions of dollars’ worth of unwanted stock by mid-2008. Some of the work was already under way: Crocs has shed 32% of jobs since 2007, shuttering factories, paring its distribution network and cutting its inventory in half over the past couple of years. That’s helped nudge Crocs’ stock close to $7, but for it "to move higher, [the company] ultimately needs to become…
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