Alpargatas, the Brazil-based footwear and apparel company, reported that its flip flop brand Havaianas achieved record net earnings of 3.1 billion Brazilian reais (approximately $547 million) in 2020, which represents a 6 percent increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, Alpargatas registered 3.3 billion reais ($582 million) in net revenue in 2020, increasing 2.6 percent in relation to 2019.
Guillaume Prou, President of Havaianas EMEIA, explained to BoF that this had been largely due to the casualisation trend currently reshaping fashion in the light of the pandemic and “introducing new styles which were slightly different than Havaianas’ usual beach products during a key moment.”
Specifically, he referred to online best-sellers like the Slide and the St Tropez line, which “looks like a mule,” adding, “it’s a good time for brands like ours; there was an adaptation of what was happening and what the brand was offering,” he said.
Havaianas international sales grew 12 percent from 2019 reaching record net revenues of 0.9 billion reais (approximately $159 million) in 2020. This accounts for 28 percent of sales at the flip flop brand’s parent company Alpargatas, which posted net revenue growth in Q4 2020 of 11 percent to 1.1 billion reais ($194 million). Havaianas’ biggest international markets, Europe, the US and China, saw a net revenue increase of 21 percent from 2019.
However, the brand’s positive performance did not come without challenges. Prou explains that “the pandemic hit when we were in the midst of an acceleration process. Everything came to a complete halt,” citing three-month store closures and having to suspend deliveries to wholesale customers.
He explained that “while some countries were more affected than others, the UK and Spain, [two of its strongest markets], suffered the most.” The first suffered due to customers “lacking wearing occasions” as they could not travel for holidays, while the second was affected by the decline of domestic and international tourism.
In its home market Brazil, Havaianas achieved all-time-high net revenues of 2.2 billion reais ($388 million) which represents a 4 percent uplift from 2019. This was thanks to the brand’s grocery retail channel, which saw a market share of 80 percent. “The distribution model in Brazil is different from the one we have in Europe, USA or Asia,” said Prou.