Consumers have made slides the footwear of choice during the pandemic.
With pro sports largely sidelined since March, most sports licensing companies are having their worst year ever, especially apparel manufacturers. A notable exception is ISlide. The seven-year-old Boston-based company, which makes customized licensed slides, is now forecasting its best sales year ever. The company's success is largely due to its model of low inventory and at-once production, along with consumers’ adoption of slides as the footwear of choice during the at home pandemic period. ISlide Founder & CEO Justin Kittredge said, "They’re like sweatpants, everyone’s work at home uniform." Slides were already trending. Before the pandemic, the company was projecting 30% growth. The pandemic hit in March and eight of 25 workers were furloughed. In April, ISlide got a $300,000 PPP loan and hired them back. May turned into the second-best sales month in company history, while June was third best. Now, ISlide is predicting its best sales year ever, with 47% growth projected, as DTC and drop-shipping for other sites has mushroomed into 90% of its business. It also has recently launched a customized line of matching socks to complement the slides. “We were in the right market at the right time and consumers responded,’’ said Kittredge. "We’ve started to sell a few robes lately; maybe we’ll just become the comfortwear company."
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