In recent years, Crocs have spread around the world like a celebrity gossip story. Some may consider the shoes unfashionable on most, but adorable on toddlers, while others worship the brand and love their versatility. You’ll never find me buying a pair of the $29.99 Swiss Cheese-like shoes, but my interest in the company’s success and surprising popularity spurred me to research how Crocs came to be and just what the future holds for the firm.
A first time Crocs wearer will find the footwear obviously lighter (weighing a mere 6 oz per pair) than the average shoe and definitely more cushioned. You’ll instantly notice you won’t have to worry about sweaty toes as a soothing breeze will constantly be reassuring your previously throbbing feet. Many consumers swear Crocs can cure shin splints, chronic foot pain, and contusions. Podiatrists admit Crocs can lessen moderate pain, but no medical research has proven anything just yet.
In 2002, the shoe was originally designed for the average American gardener who didn’t want to dirty a pair of Nikes when weeding a garden, but wasn’t planting hydrangeas in flip flops either. The material is soft, bacteria-resistant, and flexible. This natural feel immediately attracted eco-friendly consumers and many vegans. After its first year in sales, Crocs earned a small, gross profit of $1,000 in America, but thanks to re-branding and promotion, five years later the company would go on to make $200 in more than 40 countries. In 2007, Crocs sold more than 50 million pairs, while grossing $850 million in sales!
Crocs dominated the market because they play on their many strengths to appeal to a variety of target markets. Kids are, of course, attracted to the bright, eye-catching neon colors and the option to place unique charms on the odd holes. Parents like how they’re dish-washer safe (little unsanitary in my opinion, but nevertheless a fact), odor-free, and affordable. The shape and colors may be a crime against fashion, but its outrageous design and over-the-top hideousness continue to attract customers with the added values of practicality and comfortableness.
The Croc trend may be just another fad, we’ve seen them all come and go, but the present success is undeniable. Crocs have somehow made ugly “fun and desirable”, as a sort of rebellion against the commonplace footwear we see on every other shelf. A lot of companies seek to produce the most sought after products but trying to be the best at something, and Crocs is simply the best are being the ugliest.
The company hasn’t solely (Ha, get it? Sole…okay, I’ll stop) relied on the sales of clogs either. After a hit in sales after the 2008 economic crisis, Crocs innovated its brand and released flats, wedges, sneakers, boat shoes, and even winter boots. The recognizable clogs still account for 54% of the corporation’s profit. To showcase the new footwear, Crocs has opened 120 stores across the US and hopes to open an additional 100 stores this year. Overseas markets are ever-expanding and represent 65% of the company’s sales. Last year, Crocs reached $1 billion in total revenue and hopefully earned the respect of a lot of pessimists. The shoes may look vulgar and hideous, but the company’s uniqueness, wide range of customers, and continuous improvement have made Crocs a successfully established global brand of footwear.