Peter Pan's Captain Hook would not have minded the demise of the croc.

It was just couple of years ago when I first spotted what appeared to be a colorful orthopedic shoe on a couple of teens on the street of NYC. It was the beginning of a phenomenon in the shoe industry .... the comfortable, lightweight, indestructible Croc.

You either loved the funky shoe or hated it with a passion. And as the craze caught the county by storm, selling over 100 million pairs and generating a profit of $162 million in 2007, the company expanded rapidly.

Fast forward to 2008 ... a bad economy, over-expansion, an indestructible product that does not need to be replaced any time soon, and cheap knock-offs from China caused the firm to lose a whopping $185 million. It's stock plummeted 74 percent, it has a surplus of shoes it cannot readily sell. The Wall Street crocs are beginning to circle.

There are several stories here. One is the overeager expansion, similar to Krispy Kreme and to some degree Starbucks. The other is the development of a product that, unlike the auto industry, did not have obsolescence built into it....a double whammy for a company that actually cared. The company went so far to design, in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, Crocs available only by prescription.

Crocs' survival is questionable given its debt. A refocus on niche markets, however, may save the company and even cause it to prosper.

As for me and my Crocs ... I wouldn't give them up ... not even the orange ones!

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