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On Is Rooted In Performance. It’s Co-CEO Says That’s What Makes It Cool.

On Holding just had its best quarter yet, fueled by supply chain improvements and soaring demand for the burgeoning running brand.

While The Swiss running shoe brand is rooted in perfomance, it has gained favor among non-athletes as well who have opted to buy the brand for its “cool” factor. According to Piper Sandler’s 45th semi-annual survey this spring, On was ranked as the 12th favorite footwear brand among teens and the fifth favorite athletic footwear brand for upper income teens.

According to On co-CEO Marc Maurer, the brand’s perfomance emphasis is precisely what makes it cool. He gave the example of the Cloudmonster, one of On’s top performing franchises that features the company’s CloudTec cushioning in the sole.

“That is a true performance run shoe, but it appeals to a young audience because of its looks and because of how it is distributed,” Maurer told FN in an interview. “We feel we are cool, because we’re rooted in performance.”

Along with the Cloudmonster, the Cloudrunner, Cloudgo and Cloudsurfer all launched in the last 12 months, currently make up 45% of sales in On’s performance run range.

“We’re never doing something, because we try to be cool,” Maurer said. “We’re doing something because we feel it’s the right thing to do. And it allows people to move more. And that’s what we’re here for.”

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In Q1, On reported net income of 44.4 million Swiss francs, up 209 percent from the 14.3 million Swiss francs in the year-ago period. Sales hit 420.2 million Swiss francs from 235.7 million Swiss francs in the first quarter of 2022. On raised its full-year outlook and expects sales of at least 1.74 billion Swiss francs.

The Deckers-owned Hoka has also recently skyrocketed in growth with its perfomance-based running shoes that have become popular for casual-wear as well. In the third quarter, Hoka saw net sales jump 90.8% to $352.1 million. The brand also eclipsed $1 billion of revenue over the last nine months as of Q3.

“It’s less about athletic and more about just cool shoes,” Matt Powell, an advisor at Spurwink River consultancy, told FN in March about On and Hoka. “Even though those shoes are built for performance, I think a tremendous amount of those shoes are being worn because they’re new and cool and different.”

Maurer said On recently met to discus ways to bring the brand’s computer-optimized CloudTec Phase technology from the Cloudsurfer platform to other models in the “performance all day space” for summer 2024.

“We’re very confident that that will make it even cooler,” he said.

Going into the second quarter, Maurer noted strong demand from wholesale partners but mentioned the ongoing uncertainty in the macro-economic environment, which has made sell-through figures more volatile.

“We just want to be cautious and make sure that we can continue to grow exactly in line with how we plan to grow,” he said. ” I think the demand for On with the newer partners that we’re working with continues to be strong.”