business

Crocs 'Break-Out Year' Driven by Celebrity Partnerships, Shoe Charms, Says Company President

The past year had been kind to Crocs, the Colorado-based brand that first made waves in the early 2000s but struggled to stay trendy in the years since. As quarantine-bound consumers sought out comfortable clothing and footwear, the iconic rubber clogs made a comeback.
"In 2020, it was really a break-out year for Crocs," Michelle Poole, president of Crocs, told Cheddar. "We had our most profitable year ever as a brand. We saw 50 percent growth in our digital channel, and we saw a real acceleration in demand for our Classic Clog silhouette." 
But now investors are wondering if Crocs can keep up the momentum. After its stock nearly doubled to over $80 per share in 2020, a sell-off in February pushed down the price. 
Poole said the company is confident it will continue to grow post-pandemic. 
"We're really excited about the future," she said. "We remain incredibly confident about our ability to grow and drive sustainable growth for the future."
One way it plans to do that is through collaborations with big-name celebrities, such as Justin Bieber, Post Malone, and basketball player CJ McCollum. 
"Just last week, we had our second Justin Bieber product collaboration in partnership with his own 'drew house' brand, and we saw record instant sell-outs around the globe," Poole said.  
(Indeed, this Manhattan-based reporter saw a line stretching down the block at the brand's midtown retail location last Saturday.) 
In addition to the Justin Bieber x Classic Clog, Crocs has two more new products in the pipeline, including a slightly thinner Croc with a platform heel and a new two-strap slide sandal. 
All of the above can be decorated with charms or Jibbitz, as Crocs calls them, which fit into the tiny holes that make the brand's footwear so unique. 
"What you'll see is that all of this product is a great blank canvas for self-expression," Poole said. "We introduce fresh charms to our consumers on a regular basis every month." 
Right now, the Bieber-Croc collaboration comes with a pair of white socks — a style popularized by the pop star — but with the spring and summer, Crocs is banking on customers to also embrace its sandal line with or without a cozy pair of socks. 
"Sandals is actually a $30 billion dollar addressable market for Crocs, and we've been slowly gaining market share over the last several years," Poole said. 
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