July 16, 2009

Crocs, at a dash, may be burning out

Colorful, comfortable Crocs hit the recession running, but at too much of a run, the U.S. shoemaker's chief executive officer said.

In an e-mail, Crocs Inc. CEO John Duerden said the shoe industry was surprised by the severity of the downturn. Moreover, it affected us more because the brand had been gearing up for a continuation of the extraordinary growth in the prior years, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The company that produces brightly colored plastic clogs made of an antimicrobial foam called Croslite hit the market at a flat out dash, jumping from a quirky start-up to a company selling 100 million pairs of shoes in seven years.

The company's 2006 stock offering raised $200 million, a record for a shoe company.

But times have changed. After gearing up for growth, the recession clobbered the clogmaker.

In 2007, the company reported a profit of $168.2 million. In 2008, the company lost $185.1 million and cut 2,000 jobs.

Auditors have questioned the company's ability to stay afloat, but Duerden hasn't given up yet.

The bottom line is, people talk about Crocs, he told the newspaper. They either love them or hate them, but it's in the vernacular.