Former Crocs Exec Buys Back Canadian Factory

NEW YORK — George Boedecker, Crocs’ founder and former CEO, joined a team of private investors last week to purchase the assets and manufacturing facility of Crocs Canada Inc., with plans to move beyond making footwear.

“The team and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we see with this acquisition,” Boedecker said in a press release last week. “The applications for this amazing polymer are endless, and we see expansion into a multitude of industries and emerging markets as the next big thing.”

Crocs Canada — formerly Foam Creations before Boedecker bought it in 2004 when he was running Crocs Inc., based in Niwot, Colo. — will return to its roots and take on the name Foam Creations 2008, the press release said. Boedecker, who resigned from Crocs Inc. in 2005, and his team have no current plans to make footwear.

The purchase brings with it the original Canadian-based Crocs manufacturing facility and licensing rights to the polymer foam material that made Crocs sandals famous, a public relations representative for the company said.

Production of Crocs shoes at the 30,000-sq.-ft. factory was halted in April when Crocs Inc. said it no longer would make shoes there in order to reduce operational expenses. Since then, the facility’s 30 employees have been manufacturing kayak seats and hot-tub parts from the foam material, the representative said.

About 5 million pairs of shoes a year, or 14,000 shoes a day, were produced at the Canadian facility during its operational peak.

“Our plan is to keep our team intact and to continue to create local jobs and opportunities with this endeavor,” said Crocs Canada President Andy Reddyhoff in the release. “Anything less would be a disservice to our team and to our community.”

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