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HEYDUDE is Crocs’ Next Big Play

Looking back at Crocs’ resurgence and a preview of what its next chapter could hold with the acquisition of HEYDUDE.

What a difference a couple of years makes in the footwear industry. It wasn’t long ago that Guy Fieri was Crocs’ standard bearer among celebrities, with little competition for the crown.

Since the onset of the pandemic, however, Crocs have skyrocketed in popularity, taking root as the must-have accessory for Gen Z. Wild colorways and an endless selection of giblets have fueled the brand’s success and its stock price, which has surged 92% over the last year.

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On Tuesday, Crocs revealed its most recent money move, announcing its plans to acquire Italian casual footwear company HEYDUDE. The deal is worth $2.5 billion, and Crocs will pay $2.05 billion in cash and offer $450 million in Crocs stock. It is expected to close during the first quarter of 2022. Citi advised Crocs in the deal.

“A lot of people have just really looked at the icon with fresh eyes over the last few years and have brought fun and exciting ways to make it feel very new again,” Crocs President Michelle Poole told Boardroom in an interview last month.

On its path to success, Crocs has shed its reputation as the footwear choice of chefs and medical professionals alone, garnering countless official and unofficial endorsements from celebrities and athletes from around the world. An abbreviated list includes:

  • C.J. McCollum, Portland Trailblazers
  • Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
  • Kai Havertz, Chelsea
  • Alphous Davies, Bayern Munich
  • Saweetie
  • Priyanka Chopra
  • Diplo
  • Bad Bunny
  • Justin Bieber
  • Post Malone

And while he has not announced any sort of formal partnership with the brand, even King James himself was seen sporting a Grateful Dead-inspired pair in a post-game presser.

“We believe HEYDUDE’s casual, comfortable, and lightweight products are aligned to long-term consumer trends and are a perfect fit for Crocs,” Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said in a statement to investors regarding Thursday’s news,

The statement went on to ensure investors that that acquisition will enable continued growth for the footwear brand, due in large part to HEYDUDE’s growth and strong profits over recent years. Inside reports indicate that Crocs plans to build HEYDUDE into a billion-dollar brand, further fueling its own $5 billion goal by 2026.