Imagine for a moment, if you will, all of the ailments plaguing our society: A devastating global pandemic; widespread and accelerating ecological collapse; the looming threat of a Swedish House Mafia reunion tour.
Now, hear this: We will literally never run out of Crocs. Is that doing anything for you? No?
During a call with analysts on Thursday to discuss yet another quarter’s worth of astronomical sales numbers, Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said that the ugly clogs company owes most of its recent success to the fact that Crocs are largely impervious to the global supply chain issues that have plagued the tech industry and other companies during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last July, rising rates of infection—which amounted to the deadliest wave of the virus that Vietnam had encountered up to that point—triggered widespread manufacturing shutdowns in two of the country’s largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The fresh wave of lockdown protocols triggered by the country’s leadership resulted in a record quarterly drop in the gross domestic product that was so steep, panicked companies were forced to choose between creating dystopian Covid-19 “bubbles” to house and feed workers on-site and shouldering the cost of lost profits. But folks, that’s not the story here—the story is that Crocs, one of many companies that outsources much of its manufacturing to Vietnam, feature a simple and elegant three-part design, which is what made it easy to quickly shift manufacturing to places like China, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Indonesia to ensure that the company’s production rates and bottom line remained steady.
“One thing that we learnt from COVID I think is really important to people to understand: Our shoes are really simple, and so ramping up factories could be very, very quick,” Rees told analysts on Thursday, according to Insider. “You don’t have a lot of external logistics to be able to get started.”
The Vietnam factory shutdowns have stunted production for many companies that outsource their production as of late, including Nike and Lululemon. But not Crocs, baby. During the call with analysts, Rees reported that sales were up 73% to $626 million during the most recent quarter, up from $362 million during the same time period last year.
Humanity may be doomed, but the clog is still king. Long live free-market capitalism. Long live Crocs.