Clarks shoes lost its way but will bounce back to rival Dr Martens and Birkenstock, new boss vows
On the front foot: Footballer Raheem Sterling wearing a pair of Desert Boots
Clarks shoes lost its way but will bounce back to rival Dr Martens and Birkenstock, its new boss has vowed.
The founding family, whose ancestors Cyrus and James Clark founded the company in 1825, lost control in a dramatic restructuring last year.
Its new boss Victor Herrero, the sixth in as many years, said Clarks can overcome its image as a chain selling sensible shoes for school and work.
The 53-year-old said: ‘Nobody was moving forward. There was no urgency or desire to evolve the brand. We have iconic brands, like the Desert Boots and Wallabees. We have the brand and relevancy, we just have to execute,’ he told the Financial Times.
Covid hit the company hard, wiping £230m off sales in the year to February 2021, and forcing 900 redundancies.
Lion Rock, a private equity firm, and Chinese entrepreneur Li Ning wrested control from the Clark family, in a deal valuing Clarks at £200m.
Planning ahead: New boss Victor Herrero said Clarks can overcome its image as a chain selling sensible shoes for school and work
The valuation was a far cry from Dr Martens, which is valued at £4.9billion and sandal-maker Birkenstock, which was recently sold for £3.3billion.