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Crocs, From Ugly Duckling to the “It” Shoe


Crocs, the ugly duckling of footwear, reported a record $1.4 billion in revenue sales in 2020, a significant increase from their standing in 2008 when they were close to bankruptcy. Consumers have a strong passion for Crocs. They either love them for easy-going comfort or dislike the no-frills design.

Crocs’ early decision to close stores and embrace e-commerce may very well have been its saving grace. According to NPD Group, Crocs were the only footwear brand among the top 30 tracked to record sales growth in March of last year, topping Amazon’s bestseller list. The company continues to see an upward trajectory, with a nearly 40% increase in direct-to-consumer sales reported in 2020.

Breaking from its previous laissez-faire reputation, the ergonomically designed shoemaker has taken steps to enter high street fashion. The turnaround included haute couture collaborations with London designer Christopher Kane and fashion house Balenciaga, to celebrity brand partnerships with music stars Post Malone and Justin Bieber. With increased visibility in mass media and a shift in growing consumer interest to blend high-low fashion, Crocs seemed to have found its niche.

Timing is everything

The footwear industry saw a 37% increase in sneakers sales as consumers, and women in particular, embraced the trend of slipping their feet into something more comfortable. The onset of the pandemic only fueled the desire for consumers to prioritize comfort over style.  Crocs recently stated, “sandal sales were up 17% in the first quarter, and they will one day outpace growth of its core clogs.”

Aside from its varied purposefulness, the foam clogs’ customizable Jibbitz charms allow fans of all ages to accessorize their Crocs with as much creativity as a Lite Bright set. In a recent post, singer Nicki Minaj adorned her pairs of pink and black Crocs with gem-encrusted Chanel design pins, which sold out in 24 hours, a novelty embraced by celebrities and Instagram influencers. Crocs are catching fire on sites like retail resale marketplace StockX, which has seen high demand from sneakerhead collectors who covet Crocs.

The brand donated over 80, 000 shoes to essential healthcare workers last year, a campaign they have since rebooted. The clog, is favored by nurses and doctors for its Croslite Technology – a proprietary closed-cell impact-absorbing resin material that is not plastic or rubber. All this goodwill has groomed a distinctly loyal fan base making Crocs the “it” shoe of the pandemic and beyond.

What side of the Crocs debate do you fall? Do you love or dislike them? Follow me on Twitter @anjeesolankiCRE and get in on the conversation.

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Anjee Solanki

National Director, Retail Services & Practice Groups

San Francisco


In Anjee’s current role, as National Retail Director for the USA, she has developed strong relationships and strategic leadership to over 500 + retail professional nationally across 140 markets within Colliers for Investment Sales, Agency, Retailer Rep, and Retail Asset & Property Management.

Anjee Solanki brings 30 years of focused retail real estate experience to Colliers International.  She provides strategic retail advisory services to enhance value for her clients with her expertise in lifestyle, community, power center, neighborhood, mixed-use retail/residential, and resort retail. 

She has developed and manages strong working relationships with institutional and private clients such as State of Florida, State of Michigan, Heitman, Invesco, Grosvenor Americas, American Realty Advisors, TH Realty, PNC, and Zurich to name a few.

Her strategy identifies current market and property inefficiencies to capture untapped value through asset repositioning, releasing, redevelopment, rehabilitation, proactive management, and enhanced marketing. 

Creative problem-solving is her specialty, and she becomes a key stakeholder with national and international retailers, such as JPMC, Opry City Stage/Ole Red and Tim Hortons, and many others. Her highly focused approach reduces the risk profile and provides clients with a thoughtful approach executing strategic multi-year planning initiatives. 


Previously, Anjee served as Executive Vice President, Retail Services for Madison Marquette. She successfully assisted with repositioning community centers to lifestyle projects and identified opportunities to create value, resulting in higher returns for her clients. She also provided strategic analysis on complex redevelopment projects to address both the asset’s financial stabilization and/or the client’s exit strategy


Anjee continues to be an insatiable collector of all things retail. She’s a student of culture living next door to future shoppers, whose fleeting trends constantly change the retail landscape … driving retailers, landlords and developers crazy! Read her Blog at: 


Anjee is originally from Southern California and currently resides in San Francisco.  She is active in the Rincon Hill neighborhood residential improvement group, which participates in the public review of the highly anticipated Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco.

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