Crocs are dying. The Washington Post has predicted he shoe company’s demise, running this article about its increasingly dire financial situation.
As the story reports, the company last year lost $181.5 million, cut a couple thousand jobs and now must pay off its debt before September’s end if it expects to stay afloat. As one investment fund manager rather bluntly put it: “The company’s toast … They’re zombie-ish. They’re dead and they don’t know it.” Crocs already scared me a little, but thinking of them as the stars of a George Romero horror movie? That’s a place I never thought we’d visit.
Here’s the weird thing about the Crocs situation: even though it does sound like they’re in a big mess business-wise, it doesn’t necessarily feel that way culturally. Maybe people aren’t as into them as they used to be, but I still see plenty of kids at my son’s daycare clomping around in them, and little girls begging their moms to buy them a pair of the fancy, bejewled kind at the store. I also see a fair share of grown men walking the streets, displaying no apparent sense of irony, with Crocs on their feet.
I suspect the problem is that Crocs are durable. And that means most of the pairs we still see are the same ones people bought two or three years ago. The loyal Crocs fanbase may remain loyal, but doesn’t necessarily need to replace the ones they one. And the people who never bought a pair in the first place aren’t buying them now, hence a supply that far exceeds demand.
Do you agree? Are your kids (or you) still fans of Crocs? Have you bought a pair recently? And if the company has to shut down, will you feel sad or happy to see them go?