Sales of Crocs soar as rubber shoe brand predicts bumper year

Once considered a fashion faux-pas, sales of Crocs soared in the first three-months of the year, as the rubber shoe brand celebrated record demand from shoppers seeking comfortable footwear during the pandemic.

The company’s revenues climbed by 64% in the first quarter, reaching a record-breaking $460m (£331m), just days after a gold pair of Crocs appeared on the Oscars red carpet, sported by musician Questlove, the awards’ musical director.

“Demand for the Crocs brand is stronger than ever with expected 2021 revenue growth of 40% to 50%,” said Andrew Rees, Crocs’ chief executive, adding that the company was enjoying growth in all regions and through all sales channels, 包括 26% sales growth in Asia.

因此, the company raised its profit guidance for 2021 as it predicted consumer demand would accelerate globally.

Crocs shares jumped by 17% on the bumper sales numbers, changing hands on Wall Street for $99 (£71) by lunchtime on Tuesday, well above their previous peak of about $74 at the height of Crocs’ popularity in 2007. In April last year, Crocs shares were worth about $20.

Fashion website Who What Wear declared last December “2021 is set to be the year of the Croc”. The forecasters have been proved right.

When they first appeared, the rubber cloggs were initially marketed at sailors and water sport enthusiasts because they are made from a lightweight and odour-resistant special resin, before becoming a fashion phenomenon in the mid-noughties.

然而, the shoes soon fell out of fashion, and Crocs teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in 2009, 后 making a loss of $185m the previous year. The latest turnaround began when Crocs launched high-profile partnerships with designer fashion houses including Balenciaga and Christopher Kane.

While they have remained much loved by gardeners and workers in hospitals and hospitality venues whose jobs require them to stand for long periods, the shoes have been enjoying a fully fledged fashion renaissance in recent months thanks to high-profile collaborations with pop artists including Justin Bieber, whose designs are embellished with cartoon animals.

Launching his version, the pop star proudly announced: “I wear Crocs all the time, so designing my own pair came naturally.”