November 28, 2020

Ugg’s New President Gets Candid on What It Will Take to Revive the Brand

A little more than a year since stepping into her role as president of fashion lifestyle at Deckers Brands — a position in which she’s leading the Ugg turnaround — Andrea O’Donnell is striking off items on a carefully crafted to-do list.
“It’s well-understood in the industry that today’s consumers are more discerning than ever — they are spending more on experiences and less in retail,” O’Donnell said.
“This means that if you want to connect with them and build a meaningful business, you need a brand that is engaging and product that is beautiful. [That’s why], in the short term, I am very much focused on the brand, what it stands for and how we communicate it.”
After gaining a cultlike following in the early 2000s, Ugg’s softening demand and uneven sales have caused some experts and stakeholders to question its sticking power.
“You have a [label] that grew to prominence as an accessible luxury brand, and the problem is that it is becoming less luxurious and more accessible,” said Susquehanna Financial Group LLLP analyst Sam Poser.
“They recently opened up distribution to Macy’s — a retailer that is in a different [tier] than its [longtime] sellers such as Nordstrom and Dillard’s — and

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