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Thread: Once-trendy Crocs could be on their last legs

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Unhappy Once-trendy Crocs could be on their last legs

    washingtonpost.com

    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.
    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."
    Two summers ago, Nancy Fisher of the District bought two pairs of Crocs, one green and one pink, for her daughters. The girls, now 8 and 12, wore them constantly and even got charms to decorate the tops. This year, the shoes are forgotten.
    "They were their go-to," Fisher said, "and now they're just really interested in flip-flops."
    The story of Crocs mirrors the country's tale of economic expansion and contraction. At the height of the real estate market, in 2006, the company sold shares to the public, raising more than $200 million in the biggest stock offering in shoe history. It ramped up manufacturing to keep up with demand, only to then find that shoppers were snapping their wallets shut.
    Rachel Weingarten, a trend and marketing expert, has relegated Crocs to the wasteland of the comfort-shoe aisle. Maybe in a decade nostalgia will set in, said Weingarten, author of "Career and Corporate Cool." Then a pair of hot-pink Crocs dug from the back of the closet might inspire misty-eyed memories: "Remember when we had ugly, Flintstone-looking feet?"
    Crocs not only had a look, they had a story. In 2002, three longtime friends from Boulder, Colo., got hold of technology developed in a Canadian laboratory in 1999 that created a lightweight, antimicrobial foam. They called it Croslite and molded it into a boating and water-sports shoe they named "Beach."
    The shoes quickly developed a following among landlubbers as well. Gardeners touted their stability, runners enjoyed their light feel, and the chairman of the company's board wore them with his tuxedo.
    The company used money from its public stock offering to diversify and acquire new businesses, such as Jibbitz, which makes charms designed to fit Crocs' ventilating holes, and Fury Hockey, which used Croslite to make sports gear. It built manufacturing plants in Mexico and China, operated distribution centers in the Netherlands and Japan, and forged into the global marketplace. More than half of Crocs were sold outside the United States.
    Then, chief executive John Duerden wrote in an e-mail: "the industry was taken by surprise by the severity of the downturn. It affected us more than most because the brand had been gearing up for a continuation of the extraordinary growth in the prior years."
    But the shoes were hitting a saturation point; the problem with a nearly indestructible product is that shoppers rarely need to replace it.
    A foray into Croslite clothing in 2007 fell flat and was quickly scaled back. The company liquidated Fury Hockey last year.
    "They had added a huge amount of infrastructure to meet this demand going forward," said Jeff Mintz, an analyst with Wedbush. "Demand fell off, and they had way too much capacity and way too much supply of product."
    Who needs a second pair of Crocs in a recession, particularly when the first pair is holding up just fine?
    The company swung from a profit of $168.2 million in fiscal year 2007 to a loss of $185.1 million last year. In its annual report, Crocs said that an independent auditor expressed concerns about "conditions that raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue." Its stock price has plummeted 76 percent.
    Five months ago, the company announced that it was replacing chief executive Ron Snyder, who went to college with the company's founders, with Duerden, an industry veteran who ran a consulting firm focused on brand renewal. Duerden believes there is life yet in Crocs and plans to market them to caterers, medical workers and people with foot problems. Actor George Clooney has promised to work with the company, Duerden told analysts. Maybe he could wear a red pair.
    "The bottom line is, people talk about Crocs," he said at a conference with analysts. "They either love them or hate them, but it's in the vernacular."

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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Good. Those things are hideous.

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    "Remember when we had ugly, Flintstone-looking feet?"
    Ain't that the truth? I always hated Crocs and refused to buy them for my children. Then my damn MIL bought DS a pair of camo crocs (and not even the real ones, knockoffs) at a beach store and I was so hopping mad but couldn't say anything. Thank God children outgrow things.

    Things that are banned in my house but some people buy them for my kids anyway, grrrr:

    Anything army or military
    Toy guns
    Anything camoflauge
    Crocs
    Yellow clothing
    Toys with millions of pieces
    Toys that are loud

    I seriously want to slap anyone who buys these things for my kids, but what can you do?

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    Elite Member shedevilang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post

    I seriously want to slap anyone who buys these things for my kids, but what can you do?
    throw it away while they are asleep and then make them think they lost it
    Silly bitches, twitchy links are NOT for kids!-Mel

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    Elite Member Rondette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleWasHere View Post
    Good. Those things are hideous.

    Hhaha, my thoughts exactly! RIP Crocs, I won't miss you.



    At all.

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    Elite Member heart_leigh's Avatar
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    I didn't care how comfortable crocs were. They were fugly as sin. Bye crocs!
    Rock the fuck on!

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    I'm guilty of owning knock-Crocs. I love them and the fact that I can go to Walmart and buy a pair for $1 is the reason I won't pay $30 for the "real" thing. I can't wear flip flops and it is too hot for socks and sneakers. In our house they're basically run around shoes. The ones I wear in public are almost like ballet style sneakers. I also wore those cork sandals with the suede straps. With socks. I'm married to a man who thinks it's ok to wear socks with flip flops. Clearly we're not a pillar of fashion sense, lol.
    Snooky Wookums, prepare for the invasion!

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    Elite Member Sylkyn's Avatar
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    Well, I get my Crocs at cost, and while that doesn't excuse me at all, those bitches are comfortable as hell, and will always be my "house-shoe/slipper of choice" as long as they're around. Yeah, they're ugly, but they allow me to do just about anything in the house (or outside of it) without dying in leg agony.

    There. I said it.

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    Elite Member sherbear905's Avatar
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    Oh well, I still love my Malindi Leopard Crocs, and they're actually cute. I've wanted leopard ballet flats for a couple years, and never found a pair even remotely comfortable, until I found these. I may even get them in black. I'm not afraid.


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    May they rest in hell with flares , mullets and ra ra skirts!

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Elite Member MrsMarsters's Avatar
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    Oh no..no more furry crocs?!!

  13. #13
    Elite Member TheONe's Avatar
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    They never should have been invented!!
    "My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat your children. Praise be to Allah." TEAM MILEY!!

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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    My freind saw some at the weekend & comments on how comfy the looked & how she wanted some.... she normally has reasonable taste...

    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    Ain't that the truth? I always hated Crocs and refused to buy them for my children. Then my damn MIL bought DS a pair of camo crocs (and not even the real ones, knockoffs) at a beach store and I was so hopping mad but couldn't say anything. Thank God children outgrow things.

    Things that are banned in my house but some people buy them for my kids anyway, grrrr:

    Anything army or military
    Toy guns
    Anything camoflauge
    Crocs
    Yellow clothing
    Toys with millions of pieces
    Toys that are loud

    I seriously want to slap anyone who buys these things for my kids, but what can you do?
    LOL! So you have taste there!

    We live in the country, ex-forces clothing is warm & cheap!....

    Quote Originally Posted by mklady View Post
    I'm guilty of owning knock-Crocs. I love them and the fact that I can go to Walmart and buy a pair for $1 is the reason I won't pay $30 for the "real" thing. I can't wear flip flops and it is too hot for socks and sneakers. In our house they're basically run around shoes. The ones I wear in public are almost like ballet style sneakers. I also wore those cork sandals with the suede straps. With socks. I'm married to a man who thinks it's ok to wear socks with flip flops. Clearly we're not a pillar of fashion sense, lol.
    Does he have some of those ninja sock that have a big toe to stop them slipping off?

    Quote Originally Posted by DolceVita View Post
    May they rest in hell with flares , mullets and ra ra skirts!
    bugger! I LOVE flares.... they're flatering in balancing my e-nor-mouse arse! LOL
    Free Charmed.

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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    I swore I'd never own any of these. Then, all my redneck river buddies, especially the guys, were wearing them as opposed to the traditional water/aqua shoes. These Crocs actually stay on better in the water, even when the bottom is muddy or slushy. They are easy to rinse off and clean thoroughly and they dry very quickly. The fabric water shoes do neither of these things. The men wear black ones and my hubby wears the cammo ones (fakes from Wal-Mart). Mom got me real ones from some wholesale place. They are purple Hannah Montana ones with silvery glitter sparkles and little stars. They look tiny and cute. I think they are supposed to be for kids but oh well. I wear them around the yard and even walk the dog in them. They are extremely comfortable and mine are actually kinda cute.
    Only the good die young.........................
    bitches like me live forever!!!!!!!!!!!!

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