Strap in, we’re living in the Croc epoch

A cursed shoe for a cursed era.

by Roisin Lanigan
29 April 2021, 1:08pm

Of all the unexpected success stories of the pandemic -- sourdough bread, Zoom, feta pasta bakes, rollerskating -- none is as notable as the popularity of Crocs. The beloved but maligned shoe brand has skyrocketed in both clout and sales over the past 12 months. In fact, in a period where many businesses are struggling, Crocs are flourishing, with share prices at an all time high. 

In an era where working from home has become the norm, it’s understandable that the humble Croc has at last had its moment to shine. Professional attire has become a waist up affair thanks to Zoom.

The Colorado-based cult label is reaping the rewards of that necessary pivot to remote working, judging by their recent revenue figures for the first quarter of 2021. Crocs are reporting an increase in sales by a massive 64% -- that’s a cool $460.1 million -- year on year, with digital sales up by 75% and direct-to-consumer sales almost doubling, at 93%. The company’s share price, accordingly, is up 16% in value.

The company’s pandemic-era financial success can’t just be attributed to remote work, though. To do so would be to undermine the power of the Croc. The humble footwear has enjoyed a number of incredibly successful collaborations, including musicians such as Post Malone, Justin Bieber and Bad Bunny. It isn’t even celebrity brand power pushing the sudden fascination with the Croc. Aside from those big names in music, the shoes have appeared on the runways of fashion’s biggest houses in the past few years, including Balenciaga’s pastel pink platform version, and a goth twist on the classic from Christopher Kane. And how could we forget those multi-sensory chicken-scented KFC X Crocs. RIP Colonel Sanders – you would have loved these ones. 

The company even recently teamed up with Disney and Pixar for a limited edition run of adult sized Lightning McQueen themed shoes (the protagonist from the criminally underrated 2006 movie Cars). In a frenzy akin to a Supreme drop, the limited edition line sold out almost instantly, leaving legions of fans of both Crocs and Cars devastated. 

What does all this evidence mean? We are living in the era of the Croc. Put your shoes in sports mode and strap in for a wild ride.

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