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Crocs, Genesco Preview Holiday Sales

Fourth-quarter estimates released by Crocs and Genesco Monday ahead of their respective presentations at this year’s ICR Conference are offering an early window into how footwear brands stacked up this holiday.

A day after Christmas, Mastercard SpendingPulse reported that U.S. retail sales growth for the Nov. 1-Dec. 24 stretch came in at 8.5 percent. Apparel retail alone—the report did not break out footwear data—grew 47.3 percent after falling 19.1 percent last year. Unofficial results discussed by the National Retail Federation (NRF) on Friday indicate November-December sales grew 11.5 percent.

According to Crocs’ estimates, the clog seller saw revenue rise approximately 42 percent in the fourth quarter. Though lower than Mastercard’s estimated growth rate for holiday apparel sales, the data point includes revenue from outside the Nov. 1- Dec. 24 period, as well as from international markets. While it’s hard to say how Crocs’ October growth compared to the rest of its fourth quarter, the company’s full-year data suggests it did see greater growth in the U.S. than it experienced as a company overall. In 2021, Crocs’ Americas revenue climbed 86 percent, far outpacing the 46 percent and 26 percent bumps it saw in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia, respectively.

For full-year 2021, Crocs is estimating its revenues increased approximately 67 percent year over year to $2.3 billion, up from recent guidance of approximately 62 percent to 65 percent growth. In the current year, it estimates sales, excluding those from the soon-to-be-acquired Heydude brand, will climb more than 20 percent.

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According to presentation slides published ahead of its ICR presentation on Tuesday, Crocs’ ambition of reaching more than $5 billion in revenue by 2026 remains unchanged. Furthermore, it plans to grow Heydude to $1 billion by 2024 from its estimated $580 million in revenue last year, which marked a 204 percent increase over the prior year. Crocs estimates Heydude’s revenues will reach approximately $700 million to $750 million this year.

Genesco said overall sales in the eight weeks ended Dec. 25 increased 18 percent against the prior year period. This included a 23 percent bump in store sales and a 10 percent decrease in direct sales. Compared to the same period two years earlier, however, overall sales only rose 9 percent and store sales decreased 2 percent. Direct sales, on the other hand, rose 33 percent compared to the 2019 calendar year.

The company’s different divisions saw varied success over the holiday season. The U.S.-based Journeys Group, for example, experienced 8 percent sales growth versus last year and 3 percent sales growth against two years earlier, placing it behind Mastercard and the NRF’s estimates for the broader retail sector. Its U.K.-centered Schuh business recorded a 28 percent year-over-year jump. On a two-year basis, the British retailer saw sales climb 16 percent. Its traditionally dress-centered Johnston & Murphy brand grew 53 percent as it transitioned its focus to more casual styles, but remained down 5 percent compared to the pre-pandemic holiday. Its licensed brands, which in the third quarter were just 5.7 percent of its total business, saw sales rise 104 percent versus last year and 514 percent against two years earlier.