#GlobalNews: “Here’s why sheepskin boots are going from UGG to ‘ugh’ – National”


For years, UGG boots have been a must-have of the winter fashionistas. To many, the stubby brown boots are not only cute but warm and cosy.

And yet, the signature boots have delivered a stumbling market performance of late. UGG brand net sales were down 5.3 per cent in the last three months of 2016 compared to the previous year.

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According to the executives at UGG’s parent company, Deckers Outdoor, it’s about the weather. Though the boots were originally designed to warm the feet of surfers, they became popular as a trendy alternative to snow shoes. Warmer winters, though, are increasingly turning customers away from sheepskin and toward lighter footwear.

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Cue Deckers Outdoor’s latest quarterly results. Between April and June, UGG sales went up nearly 25 per cent, driven by the brand’s new offerings for the hot season.

“Our UGG spring/summer collection continues to make great strides,” Deckers chief executive officer David Powers said in a conference call last week.

Sales of sneakers and sandals were up a combined 20 per cent year over year, he added.

A warming planet has sent a number of winter-wear makers scrambling to add new spring and summer products. Canada Goose, which famously got its start with down parkas meant for extreme weather expeditions, is now pushing vests, shells jackets and even a skirt (“for flexible, moderate and stylish lower body coverage,” according to the company’s website).

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Deckers has long tried to diversify away from the UGG boots. The company recently closed 25 stores amid sagging sales.

But the latest efforts to reinvent UGG for the spring and summer seem to be gaining traction, said Powers.

Two sneaker styles seem particularly successful, he noted. One is the Tye, a dressy, perforated nubuck leather lace-up. The other is the Sammy, a lightweight slip-on.

WATCH: Great finds at summer fashion sales

The April-to-June period is normally a weak quarter for Deckers but spring demand this year beat expectations.

“This performance gives us confidence that our focus on developing compelling spring and summer product is resonating with our consumers,” said Powers.

Still, the company isn’t doing away with its signature stubby boots, which continue to account for the lion’s share of the brand’s sales.

Last year, it launched a revamped version of its classic boot, aptly named Classic II, that looks much like the original but is also water- and stain-resistant.

As the planet heats up, though, sweaty feet may remain an issue.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Note: “Previously Published on: 1 August 2017 | 4:08 pm, as ‘Here’s why sheepskin boots are going from UGG to ‘ugh’ – National’ on GLOBALNEWS CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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