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The Evolution of Crocs


166353629-artknapp (1).jpgOriginally targeted to water sports enthusiasts, Crocs Inc. was founded in 2002 in an effort to give consumers an innovative shoe unlike any other water shoe that was then on the market. The company was started by three avid boaters who wanted to make shoes specifically for boaters: even they were surprised by the success of their shoes.

The comfort and functionality of the shoes appealed to a diverse array of consumers who used the shoes for a variety of activities, some of which had absolutely nothing to do with boating. Crocs quickly moved from being an innovative boating shoe, to being a fashion statement. To capitalize on the appeal of the shoes, the company expanded their sales infrastructure, strengthened their management team, and developed relationships with a wider range of retailers.

In 2004, the company acquired Crocs Canada and began selling at Canadian retailers such as Art Knapp Nursery. In 2006, the company went public and faced some shareholder pressure to diversify – the fear being that as consumer tastes would change, Crocs would go extinct.  The company responded to this pressure by moving beyond only selling shoes and expanding their market.

As of 2016, over 100 million pairs of Crocs had been sold – a huge jump from what the three founders thought they were going to create when they thought of the idea on a sailing excursion. The design of Crocs was intended to be a lightweight, waterproof shoe with good grip for boaters and were first distributed at boat shows. The shoes have now moved far beyond being boating shoes and they are a consumer-wide phenomenon in many industries.

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