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Crocs surge in popularity: Pandemic and celebrity collaborations boost sales

2020 was a record-breaking year for Crocs in terms of sales, with revenues growing by 13%, which led to the company forecasting growth of 25% for the 2021 financial year. The company went on to experience further record-breaking growth in the first three months of 2021. Sales grew by 64% to reach $460m, while pre-tax profit grew to $122.5m in the first quarter, from its previous $18.7m. This staggering growth led to the company doubling its sales growth expectations for the full year, from 25% to 50%.

Crocs shoes first debuted in 2002 and were originally sold as a boating shoe. However, they have long been popular with hospital employees due to being comfortable and easy to clean; they have also grown in popularity as a comfy summer shoe for children. In 2020 popularity for the distinctive clog-style shoe began to surge. As lockdowns were implemented around the globe, Crocs saw a swell in popularity as people sought comfy footwear for the home and garden. The company sold more than 69 million pairs of shoes in 2020, with revenue reaching $1.4bn, up 13% on 2019.

The footwear brand has long split opinion, with the shoes having a distinct look that doesn’t cater to all tastes. However, the company has sought to improve its image through a number of brand and celebrity collaborations. The brand’s popularity has seen a boost on the back of these.

The company is in a good position to see further good growth, with the profile of the company rising significantly over the last 12 months. The company has been particularly savvy in leveraging influencers and celebrities and has increased its focus on its social media strategy. Crocs has placed much emphasis on ecommerce, which increased by over 75% in the first quarter of 2021. Online transactions made up a third of total sales in this period. With the shift towards online retail expected to remain in post-pandemic times, the company is well placed for further growth in this respect.

Further brand and celebrity collaborations will continue to boost sales and social media influencers will also drive demand in the coming months. While Crocs may still have opinion firmly divided, the company looks set to gain further traction in the footwear market and 2021 could prove to be another record-breaking year for the company.