Crocs are enjoying a revival in popularity on the back of major celebrity endorsements with sales of the customisable plastic clogs soaring by 63.6% to $460.1 million in its first quarter.
Musician Questlove wore a gold pair of the clogs on the Oscars red carpet this week, saying he’d become a fan of the shoes during lockdown, while Justin Bieber recently teamed up with Crocs to launch a customisable shoe which sold out almost immediately.
Previous collaborators include rapper Post Malone, actor Priyanka Chopra and Latin pop star Bad Bunny.
The company also saw its profitability rocket in the quarter with operating income up by $104 million at $125 million. Digital sales grew 75.3% to represent 32.3% of revenue versus 30.1% last year.
Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said further strong growth was expected: “Demand for the Crocs brand is stronger than ever with expected 2021 revenue growth of 40% to 50%. In the first quarter we achieved record revenues and profitability, with growth in all regions and all channels. We have raised full year guidance as we continue to see consumer demand for our product accelerate globally.”
The brand has driven growth during the Covid-19 crisis with strong social media, global brand ambassadors and the release of limited edition shoes, which are “dropped” in a similar fashion to highly desirable sneakers.
At the time of writing a timed drop of light-up “Lightning McQueen” clogs was ready to launch created in partnership with Disney and its Cars movie franchise with anticipation strong on the brand’s Instagram account, which has a 1m-strong following.
The shoes have also been a hit for hard-working healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic with the brand having donated 200,000 pairs to hospitals across Europe at the height of the crisis.
Crocs are set to be one of the hottest shoes of the summer along with a general clog trend that sees wooden and leather versions offered for men and women from a number of brands from luxury to mainstream.
One of the most desirable clogs is from luxury brand Hermes, which retails for more than £1,000, while slightly more affordable options are available from Celine, Isabel Marant, Ancient Greek Sandals and former Gucci and Louis Vuitton designer Fabrizio Viti, who daisy-bedecked clogs are already a cult hit and have spawned many high street copies.
Bottega Veneta has also launched its own answer to the Croc in the form of its plastic “Puddle” clogs, which retail for £370.