If there have been any style of shoes that caught on faster than Crocs, it would be tough to find them. These iconic shoes were first created in 2002 and have not been out of shops ever since. Ironically, they were not designed as standard street shoes but were meant to serve as a "spa" shoe.
However, with their very first public appearance at a Boat Show in Florida, they sold out and continue to do so to this day. In fact, the brand has sold more than 200 million pairs and earned over $1 billion. The shoes are sold an worn in over 90 countries, and are now available in styles far beyond the original design.
It was in 2002 when three business partners in Colorado came together to acquire a material and design that used Croslite. This proprietary material was a revolutionary type of foam that ensured every item made from it would be odour resistant, lightweight, and attractive.
Interestingly enough, the creators of Crocs envisioned the shoes for fishing and marketed them by tying pairs to the ends of fishing lines. They went to that fateful boat show in Florida and sold out. Recognizing that they probably had a serious market for such shoes, they quickly developed a woman's style in early 2003 and then began doing direct sales in mall kiosks.
In less than two years from creating the first pair of Crocs, they are voted the top brand by Footwear News and then introduce their first shoes for medical treatments. A year later, Footwear News again draws attention to Crocs by noting them as the fastest growing brand. This tremendous success allows the firm to go public that same year and acquire other brands.
Things moved very quickly after that, with licensing arrangements, new styles such as Crocs Work, awards from global footwear industry leaders, and endorsement arrangements with celebrities. Crocs also became a global brand, appearing in more and more countries around the world. Full line stores start to appear in the U.S. only a few years after the company was created and by 2009, even more design innovations were integrated into the company's product line.
Slip-resistant tech appeared, and the Crocs Cares program was able to give away more than three million pairs of shoes in over 40 different countries. By 2010, the firm's revenue reached an (as yet) all time high with stock prices rising more than 100%. This success inspires the company to create additional styles such as lightweight sneakers, stylish flats, and more.
Today, the firm earns more than $1 billion annually and has more than 3,500 employees around the globe. It remains in its hometown of Niwot, CO, but has production facilities in all parts of the world.
As the company has succeeded, they have also persistently expanded upon that original "clog" design. Today, shoppers can still find the classic look, but there are also styles for men, women, and children, too.
The Crocs name is a hit and is still growing, and has even sparked some imitators. Though they say that imitation is a form of flattery, the Crocs name did have to pursue an outbreak of counterfeit shoes being marketed as the real thing. Fortunately, this issue was relatively easy to overcome as the shoes are marketed through high quality retailers and vendors, making it impossible for frauds to continue being committed.
At more than 300 million strong, Crocs are a fashion staple, as well as one of the most comfortable, stylish, and even therapeutic brands on the market.
Crocs.com. About Crocs. http://company.crocs.com/