Risk Factors Dashboard

Once a year, publicly traded companies issue a comprehensive report of their business, called a 10-K. A component mandated in the 10-K is the ‘Risk Factors’ section, where companies disclose any major potential risks that they may face. This dashboard highlights all major changes and additions in new 10K reports, allowing investors to quickly identify new potential risks and opportunities.

Risk Factors - DECK

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Our short and long-term success is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which involve factors that are difficult to predict or beyond our control. As a result, investing in our common stock involves substantial risk. Before deciding to purchase, hold or sell our common stock, stockholders and potential stockholders should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, in addition to the other information contained in or incorporated by reference into this Annual Report, as well as the other information we file with the SEC. If any of these risks are realized, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In that case, the value of our common stock could decline, and stockholders may lose all or part of their investment. Furthermore, additional risks and uncertainties of which we are currently unaware, or which we currently consider to be immaterial, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Certain statements made in this section constitute “forward-looking statements,” which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties including those described in this section. Refer to the section entitled “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” within this Annual Report for additional information.

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Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

The footwear, apparel, and accessories industry is subject to rapid changes in consumer preferences, and if we do not accurately anticipate and promptly respond to consumer demand and spending patterns, including by successfully introducing new products, we could lose sales, our relationships with customers could be harmed, and our brand loyalty could be diminished.

The footwear, apparel, and accessories industry is subject to rapid changes in consumer preferences and fashion tastes, which make it difficult to anticipate demand for our products and forecast our financial results. Our success is driven to some extent by brand loyalty, and there can be no assurance that consumers will continue to prefer our brands. Consumer demand for our products depends in part on the continued strength of our brands, which in turn depends on our ability to anticipate, understand, and promptly respond to the rapidly changing preferences and fashion tastes, as well as consumer spending patterns, with appealing merchandise. Consumer demand for our products depends in part on the continued strength of our brands, which in turn depends on our ability to anticipate, understand and promptly respond to the rapidly changing preferences and fashion tastes, as well as consumer spending patterns. As our brands and product offerings evolve, it is necessary for our products to appeal to an even broader range of consumers whose preferences cannot be predicted with certainty. Many of our products, particularly from our UGG brand, include a fashion element and could go out of style at any time. Many of our products, particularly our UGG brand product offerings, include a fashion element and could go out of style at any time. New footwear models that we introduce may not be successful with consumers or our brands may fall out of favor with consumers. If we are unable to anticipate, identify, or react appropriately to changes in consumer preferences, our revenues may decrease, our brands’ image may suffer, our operating performance may decline, and we may not be able to execute our growth plans. Even if we develop and manufacture new footwear products that consumers find appealing, the ultimate success of a new style may depend on our pricing, and we may set the prices of new styles too high for the market to bear.

Further, the value of our brands is largely based on evolving consumer perceptions, including as a result of shifting ethical, political or social standards, and concerns with respect to factors such as product quality, product design, technical performance, product components or materials, including the sustainability of products or materials, or customer service, could result in negative perceptions and a corresponding loss of brand loyalty and value. These concerns may be exacerbated by legislation restricting our ability to use certain materials in our products, as well as negative publicity regarding us or our products, brands, marketing campaigns, partners, or celebrity endorsers, which could adversely affect our reputation and sales regardless of the accuracy of such claims. Social media and digital marketing campaigns, which accelerates the dissemination of information, can increase the challenges of containing any such negative claims. Social media, which accelerates the dissemination of information, can increase the challenges of containing any such negative claims. If consumers begin to have negative perceptions of our brands, whether or not warranted, our brand image would become tarnished and our products would become less desirable, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Failure to gain market acceptance for new products could impede our ability to maintain or grow current revenue levels, reduce profits, adversely affect the image of our brands, erode our competitive position, and result in long-term harm to our business and financial results. Further, most of our independent manufacturers are concentrated in Asia, which may lead to an increased risk of supply chain disruption, particularly in the event of a natural disaster, epidemic, geopolitical tension or other event impacting the region outside of our control.

Changes in economic conditions may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Volatile economic conditions and general changes in the market have affected, and will likely continue to affect, consumer spending generally and the buying habits and preferences of consumers. A significant portion of the products we sell, especially those sold under the UGG and HOKA brands, are premium retail products. The purchase of these products by consumers is largely discretionary and is therefore highly dependent upon the level of consumer confidence and discretionary spending, particularly among affluent consumers. Sales of these products may be adversely affected by factors such as worsening economic conditions, consumer confidence in future economic conditions, changes to fuel and other energy costs, labor, and healthcare costs, declines in income or asset values, and increases in consumer debt levels, inflation and interest rates, and unemployment rates. Uncertainty in global economic conditions continues, particularly in light of an anticipated economic downturn, causing unpredictability in consumer discretionary spending trends. Uncertainty in global economic conditions continues, particularly in light of the impacts of the pandemic, and trends in consumer discretionary spending remain unpredictable. During an actual or perceived economic downturn, fewer consumers may shop for our products, and those who do may limit the amount of their purchases or substitute less costly products for our products. As a result, we could be required to reduce the price we can charge for our products or increase our marketing and promotional expenses to generate additional demand for our products. In either case, these changes could reduce our sales and profitability, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In 14Table of Contentseither case, these changes could reduce our sales and profitability, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We sell a large portion of our products through higher-end specialty and department store retailers, as well as through online marketplaces such as Amazon.com. The businesses of these customers may be affected by factors
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such as changes in economic conditions, recent failures in the US banking system, reduced consumer demand for premium products, decreases in available credit, and increased competition. If our customers face financial difficulties, it could have an adverse effect on our estimated allowances and reserves, and potentially result in us losing key customers. If our customers face financial difficulties, it could have an adverse impact on our estimated allowances and reserves, and potentially result in us losing key customers.

We face intense competition from both established companies and newer entrants into the market, and our failure to compete effectively could cause our market share to decline, which could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

The footwear, apparel, and accessories industry is highly competitive and subject to changing consumer preferences and tastes. Our inability to compete effectively could cause our market share to decline, which could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Our competitors include both established companies and newer entrants into the market. In particular, we believe that, as a result of the growth of the UGG and HOKA brands, certain competitors have entered the marketplace specifically in response to the success of our brands, and other competitors may do so in the future. A number of our larger competitors have significantly greater financial, technological, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution resources than we do, as well as greater brand awareness in the footwear, apparel, and accessories markets among consumers. Further, these competitors may have relationships with our key retail customers that are potentially more important to those customers because of the significantly larger volume and product mix that our competitors sell to them. Our competitors’ greater resources and capabilities in these areas may enable them to more effectively compete on the basis of price and production, develop new products more quickly or with superior technical capabilities, market their products and brands more successfully, identify or influence consumer preferences, increase their market share, withstand the effects of seasonality, and manage periodic downturns in the footwear, apparel, and accessories industry or in economic conditions generally. With respect to newer entrants into the market, we believe that factors such as access to offshore manufacturing and changes in technology will make it easier and more cost effective for these companies to compete with us.

As a result of the competitive environment in which we operate, we have faced, and expect to continue to face, intense pricing pressure. Efforts by our competitors to dispose of their excess inventories may significantly reduce prices of competitive products, which may put pressure on us to reduce the pricing of our products to compete, or cause consumers to shift their purchasing decisions away from our products entirely. We have also faced, and expect to continue to face, intense pressure with respect to competition for key customer accounts and distribution channels. Further, we believe that our key customers face intense competition from their competitors, which could negatively affect the financial stability of their businesses and their ability to conduct business with us.

If we are unsuccessful at managing product manufacturing decisions to offset the inherent seasonality of our business, especially given our evolving product offerings, we may be unable to accurately forecast our inventory and working capital requirements, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Like other companies in our industry, we have an extended design and manufacturing process, which involves the initial design of our products, the purchase of raw and other materials, the accumulation of inventories, the subsequent sale of the inventories, and the collection of the resulting accounts receivable.16Table of ContentsLike other companies in our industry, we have an extended design and manufacturing process, which involves the initial design of our products, the purchase of raw materials, the accumulation of inventories, the subsequent sale of the inventories, and the collection of the resulting accounts receivable. This production cycle requires us to incur significant expenses relating to the design, manufacturing, and marketing of our products in advance of the realization of revenue from the sale of our products, and results in significant liquidity requirements and working capital fluctuations throughout our fiscal year. Because this cycle involves long lead times, which require us to make manufacturing decisions months in advance of an anticipated purchasing decision by the consumer, it is challenging to estimate and manage our inventory and working capital requirements. This may be exacerbated by supply chain disruptions that may drive higher inventory procurement positions that could negatively affect our gross margins resulting from a need to sell excess quantities though close out channels. Further, once manufacturing decisions are made, it is difficult for our management to predict and timely adjust expenses, accurately forecast our financial results, and meet the expectations of analysts and investors, in reaction to various factors, including the following:

• the effects of unfavorable or unexpected weather patterns on consumer spending and demand for our products, as the sales of a majority of our UGG brand products are inherently seasonal and the further effects of climate change may pronounce these conditions;
• changes in consumer preferences, tastes, discretionary spending, and prevailing fashion trends;
• market acceptance of our current products and new products, and of competitive products;
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• future sales demand from our customers;
• the competitive environment, including pricing pressure from reduced pricing of competitive products, which may cause consumers to shift their purchasing decisions away from our products;
• delays in resource or product availability due to effects from the pandemic; and
• uncertain macroeconomic and political conditions.

The evolution and expansion of our brands and product offerings has made our inventory management activities more challenging. For example, if we overestimate demand for any products or styles, we may be forced to incur significant markdowns or sell excess inventories at reduced prices, which would result in lower revenues and reduced gross margin, and we may not be able to recover our investment in the development of new styles and product lines. For example, if we overestimate demand for any products or styles, we may be forced to incur significant markdowns or sell excess inventories at reduced prices, which would result in lower revenues and reduced gross margin. On the other hand, if we underestimate demand, or if our independent manufacturing facilities are unable to supply products in sufficient quantities, we may experience inventory shortages that may prevent us from fulfilling customer orders or result in us delaying shipments to customers. If that occurred, we could lose sales, our relationships with customers could be harmed, and our brand loyalty could be diminished. In either event, these factors could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We rely upon a number of warehouse and distribution facilities to operate our business, and any damage to one of these facilities, or any disruptions caused by incorporating new facilities into our operations, could have a material adverse effect on our business. We rely upon a number of warehouse and distribution facilities to operate our business, and any damage to one of these facilities, or any disruptions caused by incorporating new facilities into our operations, could have a material adverse impact on our business.

We rely upon a broad network of warehouse and distribution facilities to store, sort, package and distribute our products. In the US, we distribute products primarily through self-managed US DCs, including in Moreno Valley, California, and in Mooresville, Indiana, which feature a complex warehouse management system that enables us to efficiently pack products for direct shipment to our customers. In the US, we distribute products primarily through a self-managed DC in Moreno Valley, California, which features a complex warehouse management system that enables us to efficiently pack products for direct shipment to customers. Further, as part of our strategy to expand our DCs in the US, in February 2023, we began the build-out of a third US DC located in Mooresville, Indiana, and expect it to be operational during our next fiscal year ending March 31, 2024 (next fiscal year). We expect our domestic DC expansion to create long-term capacity for the domestic growth of the UGG and HOKA brands. We could face a significant disruption in our domestic DC operations if our warehouse management system does not perform as anticipated or ceases to function for an extended period of time, which could occur due to damage to the facility, failure of software or equipment, cyber-security incidents, power outages or similar problems. In addition, if our domestic DC operations and scaling efforts are impeded or delayed for any reason, it could result in shipment delays or the inability to deliver product at all, which would result in lost sales, strain our relationships with customers, and cause harm to our reputation, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We depend on 3PLs to manage the operation of their DCs as necessary to meet our business needs in certain markets. Internationally, we distribute our products through DCs managed by 3PLs in certain international locations. Internationally, we distribute our products through DCs managed by 3PLs in Canada, China, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK. We also distribute our products through a domestic 3PL located in Pennsylvania. If our 3PLs fail to manage these responsibilities, our distribution operations could face significant disruptions. The loss of or disruption to the operations of any one or more of these facilities could materially adversely affect our sales, business performance, and results of operations. Although we believe we possess adequate insurance to cover the potential effect of a disruption to the operations of these facilities, such insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. Although we believe we possess adequate insurance to cover the potential impact of a disruption to the operations of these facilities, such insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.

We rely upon independent manufacturers for most of our production needs, and the failure of these manufacturers to manage these responsibilities would prevent us from filling customer orders, which would result in loss of sales and harm our relationships with customers.

We rely on independent manufacturers and their respective material suppliers for most of our production needs, the majority of which are located in China and Vietnam, and we do not have direct control over these manufacturers or their suppliers.We rely on independent manufacturers and their respective material suppliers for most of our production needs, and we do not have direct control over these manufacturers or their suppliers. We expect these manufacturers to finance the production of goods ordered, maintain manufacturing capacity, comply with our policies, including our Supplier Code of Conduct and restricted substances policy, and store finished goods in a safe location pending shipment. If these manufacturers fail to manage these responsibilities, or if they experience significant disruption to their business, we may be unable to ensure timely delivery of products, products may not be delivered in sufficient quantities, or products may fail to meet our quality standards. Further, because most of our independent manufacturers are concentrated in Asia, we may be subject to an increased risk of supply chain disruption, particularly in the event of a natural disaster, epidemic, geopolitical tensions, or other event affecting the region outside of our control. Further, most of our independent manufacturers are concentrated in Asia, which may lead to an increased risk of supply chain disruption, particularly in the event of a natural disaster, epidemic, geopolitical tension or other event impacting the region outside of our control. If any of these were to occur, we may not be able to timely source raw and other materials, manufacture product, or fill customer orders, or
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product delivered may not meet our quality standards, which would result in lost sales and harm to our relationships with customers.

We do not currently have long-term contracts with our independent manufacturers, and there can be no assurance of a long-term, uninterrupted supply of products from them. While we do have long-standing relationships with most of these manufacturers, any of them may unilaterally terminate their relationship with us at any time, seek to increase the prices they charge, or extract other concessions from us, and we may not be able to substitute alternative manufacturers that are capable of providing products of a comparable quality, in a sufficient quantity, at an acceptable price, or on a timely basis. If we are required to find alternative manufacturers, we could experience a delay in the manufacturing of our products, increased manufacturing costs, as well as substantial disruption to our business, any of which could negatively affect our results of operations.

Interruptions in the supply of our products can also result from adverse events that impair the operations of our manufacturers. For example, we keep proprietary materials that are required for the production of our products, such as shoe molds and other materials, under the custody of our independent manufacturers. If these independent manufacturers were to lose or damage these proprietary materials, we cannot be assured that the manufacturers would have adequate insurance to cover such loss or damage, and, in any event, the replacement of such materials would likely result in significant delays in the production of our products, which could result in a loss of sales and earnings. If these independent 19Table of Contentsmanufacturers were to lose or damage these proprietary materials, we cannot be assured that the manufacturers would have adequate insurance to cover such loss or damage, and, in any event, the replacement of such materials would likely result in significant delays in the production of our products, which could result in a loss of sales and earnings.

Our financial success is influenced by the success of our customers, and the loss of a key customer could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Our financial success is influenced by the success of our customers, and the loss of a key customer could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Much of our financial success is directly related to the ability of our retailer and distributor partners to successfully market and sell our brands directly to consumers. If a partner fails to satisfy contractual obligations or otherwise meet our expectations, or experiences a closure or other operational issues, it may be difficult to locate an acceptable substitute partner. If we determine that it is necessary to make a change, we may experience increased costs, loss of customers, or increased credit or inventory risk. In addition, there is no guarantee that any replacement partner will generate results that are more favorable than the terminated party.

We currently do not have long-term contracts with our customers. As a result, we face the risk that key customers may not increase their business with us as we expect or may significantly decrease their business with us or terminate our relationship. Although no single customer accounted for 10.0% or more of our net sales during fiscal year 2023, the failure to increase or maintain our sales with our key customers as much as we anticipate would have a negative effect on our growth prospects and any decrease or loss of these customers’ business could result in a material decrease in our net sales and net income or loss if we are unable to capture these sales through our DTC channel. Further, as of March 31, 2023, we have no customers that represent 10.0% of trade accounts receivable, net. Further, as of March 31, 2022, we have one customer that represents 11.2% of trade accounts receivable, net. Trade accounts receivable, net are typically unsecured and are thus subject to the increased risk of us being unable to collect on overdue amounts, or us doing so in a timely manner, which could affect our revenue and liquidity. Further, while we have distributor contracts with terms of up to five years, these contracts may have annual purchase minimums which must be met to retain the distribution rights, and these distributors are not otherwise obligated to purchase our products. Sales to our customers are generally on an order-by-order basis and may be cancelled or rescheduled by our customers. We rely on purchase order delivery dates as a key factor to forecast our sales and earnings for future periods, and if our customers postpone, reduce, or discontinue purchases from us, we could fail to meet our forecasted results. These risks have been exacerbated as key customers operate within a retail industry that continues to undergo significant structural changes fueled by technology, changes in consumer purchasing behavior, a shrinking retail footprint and recent changes in economic conditions, such as an anticipated economic downturn and bank failures. These risks have been exacerbated as key customers operate within a retail industry that continues to undergo significant structural changes fueled by technology, changes in consumer purchasing behavior, and a shrinking retail footprint. These trends have been further intensified by the pandemic. We may lose key customers if they fail to manage the effect of this rapidly changing retail environment. We may lose key customers if they fail to manage the impact of this rapidly changing retail environment. Any loss of one of these key customers, or a significant reduction in purchases from one of these customers, could result in a significant decline in sales, write-downs of excess inventory, or increased discounts to our customers, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. Further, a key customer may dispose of their excess inventories to consumers or unauthorized sellers at significantly reduced prices, which may put pressure on us to reduce our prices to compete, or cause consumers to shift their purchasing decisions away from our authorized sellers entirely.

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We depend on qualified personnel and, if we are unable to retain or hire executive officers, key employees, and skilled personnel, we may not be able to achieve our strategic objectives and our results of operations may suffer.

To execute our growth plan, we must continue to attract and retain highly qualified personnel, including executive officers and key employees. Further, to continue to develop new products and successfully operate and grow our key business processes, it is important for us to continue hiring and retaining personnel in highly skilled footwear, apparel and accessories design, marketing, merchandising, sourcing, technology, operations, including our DCs and retail stores, and support functions. Further, to continue to develop new products and successfully operate and grow our key business processes, it is important for us to continue hiring highly skilled footwear, apparel and accessories designers and IT specialists. Competition for executive officers, key employees, and skilled personnel is intense within our industry and there continues to be upward pressure on the compensation paid to these professionals. Changes to our current and future office environments, adoption of new work models, and our business requirements or expectations about when or how often employees work either on-site or remotely may not meet the expectations of our employees. As certain jobs and employers increasingly operate remotely, traditional geographic competition for talent may change in ways that cannot be fully predicted at this time. If our employment proposition is not perceived as favorable compared to other companies’ policies, it could negatively affect our ability to attract, hire and retain our employees. We are committed to offering competitive compensation and benefits to employees across our business to positively affect attrition, which affects our selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses. Many of the companies with which we compete for experienced personnel have greater name recognition and financial resources than we have. Further, our domestic headquarters are located in Goleta, California, which is not generally recognized as a prominent commercial center, and it is difficult to attract qualified professionals due to our location. If we hire employees from competitors or other companies, their former employers may assert that we or these employees have breached legal obligations, resulting in a diversion of our time and resources. In addition, prospective and existing employees often consider the value of the stock-based compensation they receive in connection with their employment when deciding whether to take a job. If the perceived value of our stock-based compensation declines, or if the price of our stock experiences significant volatility, it may adversely affect our ability to recruit, retain and motivate qualified personnel and we may be unable to execute our growth plan or achieve our long-term strategic objectives, our results of operations may suffer, and it may damage our reputation as a preferred employer, which would challenge our ability to effectively compete across the global labor market. If the perceived value of our stock-based compensation declines, or if the price of our stock experiences significant volatility, it may adversely affect our ability to recruit, retain and motivate qualified personnel.

We believe that our culture has been and will continue to be a key contributor to our success. If we do not maintain our culture and core values over time, we may be unable to foster the passion, creativity, teamwork, focus, and innovation that we believe have contributed to the growth and success of our business. Any failure to preserve our culture could negatively affect our ability to recruit and retain personnel and to effectively focus on and pursue our strategic objectives.

The continued service of our executive officers and key employees is particularly important, and the hiring or departure of such personnel may disrupt our business or result in the depletion of significant institutional knowledge. Our executive officers and key employees are generally employed on an at-will basis, which means that they can terminate their employment with us at any time. Our executive officers and key employees are generally employed on an at-will basis, which means that they can 18Table of Contentsterminate their employment with us at any time. The loss of one or more of our executive officers or other key employees or significant turnover in our senior management, and the often-extensive process of identifying and hiring other personnel to fill those key positions, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We use sheepskin to manufacture a significant portion of our products, and if we are unable to obtain a sufficient quantity of sheepskin at acceptable prices that meets our quality expectations, or if there are legal or social impediments to our ability to use sheepskin, it could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We purchase certain raw materials that are affected by commodity prices, the most significant of which is sheepskin. The supply of sheepskin, which is used to manufacture a significant portion of our UGG brand products, is in high demand and there are limited suppliers that are able to provide the quantity and quality of sheepskin that we require. In addition, our unique product design and animal welfare standards require sheepskin that may be found only in certain geographies. We presently rely on only two tanneries in China to provide the majority of our sheepskin. If the sheepskin provided by these tanneries and the resulting products we produce do not conform to our quality or sustainability specifications or fail to meet consumer expectations, we could experience reduced demand for our products, a higher rate of customer returns and negative effects on the image of our brands, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Similarly, if these tanneries are not able to deliver sheepskin in the quantities required, or were to cease operations, we may not be able to timely obtain suitable substitute materials, which would limit our ability to meet demand for our products, lead to inventory shortages,
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result in a loss of sales, strain our customer relationships, and harm our reputation. In addition, any factors that negatively affect the business of these tanneries, or the businesses of the suppliers that warehouse their inventories, such as loss of customers, financial instability, loss or destruction of property, work stoppages, political instability, or acts of terrorism or catastrophic events, could result in shortages in our supply of sheepskin. In addition, any factors that 15Table of Contentsnegatively impact the business of these tanneries, or the businesses of the suppliers that warehouse their inventories, such as loss of customers, financial instability, loss or destruction of property, work stoppages, political instability, or acts of terrorism or catastrophic events, could result in shortages in our supply of sheepskin.

While we have experienced fairly stable pricing in recent years, fluctuations in the price of sheepskin could occur as a result of weather patterns, supply conditions, transportation costs, energy prices, work stoppages, government regulation, sanctions and policy, economic climates, market speculation, compliance with our working condition, environmental protection and other standards, harvesting decisions, incidence of disease, the price of other commodities, such as wool and leather, the demand for our products and the products of our competitors, and global economic conditions. Any and all of these factors may be exacerbated by global climate change. Any factors that increase the demand for, or decrease the supply of, sheepskin could cause significant increases in the price of sheepskin, which would increase our manufacturing costs and reduce our gross margin. While we use purchasing contracts and other pricing arrangements to reduce the effect of sheepskin price fluctuations on our results of operations, these strategies may not be sufficient to offset the negative effect of a prolonged increase in such prices on our results of operations. While we use purchasing contracts and other pricing arrangements to reduce the impact of sheepskin price fluctuations on our results of operations, these strategies may not be sufficient to offset the negative impact of a prolonged increase in such prices on our results of operations. In that event, it is unlikely we would be able to adjust our product prices sufficiently to eliminate the effect on our gross margin and our financial results may suffer. In that event, it is unlikely we would be able to adjust our product prices sufficiently to eliminate the impact on our gross margin and our financial results may suffer.

In addition, our industry is characterized by rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer preferences, and we believe there is a growing trend to eliminate the use of certain animal products, most notably fur, in footwear, apparel, and accessories. For example, the sale of fur is banned in certain US cities, and similar legislation is being considered in other geographies. While the use of leather and sheepskin has typically not been subject to these restrictions, it is possible that future legislation could restrict our ability to use sheepskin in the products we sell in certain geographies. In addition, notwithstanding whether specific legislation is passed, it is possible that consumer preferences may change based on evolving ethical or social standards, such that our products may potentially become less desirable to certain consumers. Because sheepskin is used to manufacture a significant portion of our UGG brand products, any legal or social impediments to the sale of sheepskin products, especially within our large target markets, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We rely on technical innovation, as well as increased use of environmentally preferred materials, to compete in the market for our products.

Our success relies in part on our continued innovation in both the materials we use and the design of our footwear. We continue to invest in research and development to drive our efforts to increasingly incorporate environmentally preferred materials in our products. For example, we continue to leverage our proprietary UGGpure and UGGplush materials, which incorporate repurposed wool to reduce our use of virgin wool. We also increasingly use preferred synthetics, such as recycled polyester, recycled nylon, recycled polyethylene, and bio-based ethylene, preferred regenerated or synthetic cellulosic fibers, such as TENCEL™ Lyocell and TENCEL™ Modal, and preferred plant fibers, such as cotton sourced through responsible cotton schemes, hemp, linen, ramie, and jute, as well as preferred wool, including UGGpure repurposed wool, and the responsible-down certified standard. Although we continue to invest in research and development to refine our materials and develop new properties for specific applications, if we fail to introduce technical innovation in our products or experience issues with the quality of our products or materials, consumer demand for our products could decline and we may experience reputational damage. Further, as our brands transition to suppliers with preferred materials, we may be subject to increased costs or supply constraints, which could reduce our sales and profitability and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. If we are required to find alternative manufacturers, we could experience a delay in the manufacturing of our products, increased manufacturing costs, as well as substantial disruption to our business, any of which could negatively impact our results of operations.

We may not succeed in implementing our growth strategies, including through identifying new retail store locations that meet our requirements, in which case we may not be able to take advantage of certain market opportunities and may become less competitive.

As part of our overall growth strategy, we are continually seeking out opportunities to enhance the positioning of our brands, diversify our product offerings, extend our brands into complementary product categories and markets, expand geographically, optimize our retail presence both in stores and online, and improve our financial performance and operational efficiency. Our future growth depends in part on our expansion efforts outside of North America (international growth strategy). For example, we have opened and continue to explore future retail opportunities for the HOKA brand, including through third-party partners in international markets. For example, we continue to explore future retail opportunities for the HOKA brand, including through third-party partners in international markets. However, if we are unable to identify new retail locations with consumer traffic sufficient to support a profitable sales level, our retail growth may be limited. Global store openings involve substantial investments, including those relating to leasehold
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improvements, furniture and fixtures, equipment, information systems, inventory, and personnel. Successful operation of a retail store depends, in part, on the overall ability of the retail location to attract a consumer base sufficient to generate profitable store sales volumes, and if we have insufficient sales at a new store location, we may be unable to avoid losses or negative cash flows. Although we believe we possess adequate insurance to cover the potential impact of a disruption to the operations of these facilities, such insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. Furthermore, we license the right to operate our brand retail stores to third parties through our partner retail program.Furthermore, we license the right to operate retail stores for our brands to third parties through our partner retail program. We currently plan for most of the partner retail stores to be operated in international markets, with the largest number anticipated to be in China. We provide training to support these stores and set and monitor operational standards. However, the quality of these store operations may decline due to the failure of these third parties to operate the stores in a manner consistent with our standards or our failure to adequately monitor these third parties, which could result in reduced sales and cause our brand image to suffer.

Additionally, we expanded our 3PL presence in Asia during fiscal year 2023. As part of our international growth strategy, we may transition certain brands in certain geographies from a third-party distribution model to a direct distribution model or vice versa. Failure to effectively implement our growth strategies and develop our business in new international markets, or disappointing growth outside of existing markets, could negatively affect our revenues and rate of growth and result in our business becoming less competitive. In addition, taking steps to implement our growth strategies could have a number of negative effects, including increasing our working capital needs, causing us to incur costs without any corresponding benefits, and diverting management time and resources away from our existing business. In addition, taking steps to implement our growth initiatives could have a number of negative effects, including increasing our working 21Table of Contentscapital needs, causing us to incur costs without any corresponding benefits, and diverting management time and resources away from our existing business.

Natural disasters, the effects of climate change, health epidemics, including the pandemic, and other events beyond our control, as well as related regulations, have adversely affected, and could in the future adversely affect, our business.

Natural disasters or other catastrophic events, including the pandemic and the effects of climate change, may damage or disrupt our operations, international markets, and the global economy. Our operations are subject to interruption from extreme weather events, power shortages, pandemics, terrorism, political instability, telecommunications failure, cyber-attacks, war, and other events beyond our control. Although we maintain disaster recovery plans, such events could disrupt our operations or those of our independent manufacturers, suppliers and customers, including through the inability of personnel to work, destruction of facilities, loss of life, and adverse effects on supply chains, power, infrastructure and the integrity of information technology (IT) systems, all of which could materially increase our costs and expenses, delay or decrease sales and disrupt our ability to maintain business continuity. In addition, if a cyber-attack or other data incident results in the loss, theft, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, or unauthorized access of personal, confidential, or sensitive information belonging to our customers, suppliers, or employees, it could put us at a competitive disadvantage, 25Table of Contentsresult in the deterioration of our customers’ confidence in our brands, cause our suppliers to reconsider their relationship with us or impose onerous contractual provisions, and subject us to litigation, liability, fines, and penalties. We could incur significant costs to improve the climate-related resiliency of our infrastructure and otherwise prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the effects of climate change. We could also experience increased costs for energy, production, transportation, and raw and other materials, which could adversely affect our operations. Our insurance may not be sufficient to cover losses that we may sustain. A significant natural disaster or other event that disrupts our operations or those of our partners or customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

These events could also adversely affect the supply of raw materials, including sheepskin and leather, which are key resources in the production of our products, disrupt the operation of our supply chain and the productivity of our contract manufacturers, increase our production costs, impose capacity restraints, and affect the types of products that consumers purchase. These events could adversely impact the supply of raw materials, including sheepskin, which is a key resource in the production of our products, disrupt the operation of our supply chain and the productivity of our contract manufacturers, increase our production costs, impose capacity restraints and impact the types of products that consumers purchase. It is possible consumers increasingly adopt plant-based diets to minimize their carbon footprint, which could reduce the supply of sheep for the meat industry, and in turn, hinder our ability to source sufficient sheepskin for our products. Further, it is possible consumers may increasingly adopt plant-based diets to minimize their carbon footprint, which could reduce the supply of sheep for the meat industry, and in turn, hinder our ability to source sufficient sheepskin for our products. Further, health epidemics, including the pandemic, may reduce demand for certain products, deteriorate our ability, or the ability of our customers, to operate in affected regions, and result in the failure of key business partners to provide services for our efficient operations, including the inability of our manufacturers or third-party distributors to timely fulfill their obligations to us, any of which would adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Increasing expectations from investors and other key stakeholders with respect to our ESG practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to new or additional risks.Increasing scrutiny from investors and other key stakeholders with respect to our ESG practices may impose additional costs on us or expose us to new or additional risks.

Investor advocacy groups, certain institutional investors, investment funds, stockholders, customers, and consumers are increasingly focused on corporate responsibility, specifically on the ESG practices of companies and the implications of the social and environmental costs of their investments. From time to time we communicate certain ESG initiatives and goals to market participants and our customers and business partners, including through our annual Creating Change Report. From time to time we communicate certain ESG initiatives and goals to market participants and our customers and business partners. Any ESG disclosure we make may include our policies, practices, initiatives, and goals on a variety of human rights, corporate governance, environmental compliance, sustainability, employee
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health and safety practices, human capital management, product quality, supply chain management, and workforce inclusion and diversity. Although we have undertaken expansive efforts to improve and implement our ESG initiatives, it is possible that stakeholders may not be satisfied with such disclosures, our ESG practices or the speed of their adoption. Moreover, the preparation of sustainability metrics requires management to establish criteria, make determinations as to the relevancy of information to be included, and make assumptions that affect reported information. The selection by management of different but acceptable measurement techniques could result in materially different amounts or metrics being reported. If our ESG practices do not meet investor or other stakeholder expectations and standards, which continue to evolve, or if we are perceived to have not appropriately responded to the growing concern for ESG issues, regardless of whether there is a legal requirement to do so, it may negatively affect our employee retention and recruitment, or we may suffer from reputational damage and our business and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. We may also incur additional costs or require additional resources to monitor such stakeholder expectations and standards and to meet our targets and commitments. Further, we could fail, or be perceived to fail, to achieve our ESG initiatives or goals, or we could fail to report our progress fully and accurately on such initiatives and goals, which could negatively affect our reputation, employee retention and recruitment, and the willingness of our customers and suppliers to do business with us. Further, we could fail, or be perceived to fail, to achieve our ESG initiatives or goals, or we could fail to fully and accurately report our progress on such initiatives and goals, which could negatively impact our business.

Increasing focus on ESG matters has resulted in, and is expected to continue to result in, the adoption of legal and regulatory requirements designed to mitigate the effects of climate change on the environment, as well as legal and regulatory requirements requiring climate-related disclosures. If new laws or regulations are more stringent than current legal or regulatory requirements, we may experience increased compliance burdens and costs to meet such obligations. Our processes and controls for reporting ESG matters across our operations and supply chain are evolving along with multiple disparate standards for identifying, measuring, and reporting ESG metrics, including ESG-related disclosures that may be required by the SEC, European, and other regulators, and such standards may change over time, which could result in significant revisions to our current goals, reported progress in achieving such goals, or ability to achieve such goals in the future.

We face risks associated with pursuing strategic acquisitions, and our failure to successfully integrate any acquired business or product could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

As part of our overall strategy, we may periodically consider strategic acquisitions to expand our brands into complementary product categories and markets, or to acquire new brands, technologies, intellectual property, or other assets. Our ability to do so depends on our ability to identify and successfully pursue suitable acquisition opportunities. Such acquisitions involve numerous risks, challenges, and uncertainties, including the potential to:

• expose us to risks inherent in entering into a new market or geographic region;
• lose significant customers or key personnel of the acquired business;
• encounter difficulties managing and implementing acquired assets;
• encounter difficulties marketing to new consumers or managing geographically remote operations;
• divert management’s time and attention away from other aspects of our business operations; and
• incur costs relating to a potential acquisition that we fail to consummate, which we may not recover.

Additionally, we may not be able to successfully integrate the assets or operations of any acquired businesses into our operations, or to achieve the expected benefits of any acquisitions. Following an acquisition, we may also face cannibalization of existing product sales by our newly acquired products, unless we adequately integrate new products with our existing products, aggressively target different consumers for our newly acquired products and increase our overall market share. The failure to successfully integrate any acquired business or products in the future could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

Further, we may be required to issue equity securities to finance an acquisition, which would be dilutive to our stockholders, and the equity securities may have rights or preferences senior to those of our existing stockholders. If we incur indebtedness to finance an acquisition, it will result in debt service costs, and we may be subject to covenants restricting our operations or liens encumbering our assets.

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Risks Related to Our Global Business Strategy, Operations, and International Commerce

Supply chain disruptions could interrupt product manufacturing and global logistics and increase product costs.

Our business depends on our ability to source and distribute products in a timely manner. The pandemic and related governmental and port facility actions in recent years have caused delays in product shipments. The pandemic and related governmental and port facility actions have caused delays in shipments of our products. For example, port congestion, temporary closures, and worker shortages, have disrupted the operations of our independent manufacturers and 3PLs, as well as the DCs where we manage our inventory, have experienced disruptions that have increased the global lead-time for our products. Due to the pandemic, reductions in the number of ocean carrier voyages and capacity have delayed the arrival of imports and increased ocean transport costs globally and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to result in higher energy and transportation costs. Ongoing ocean carrier consolidation, reduced capacity, congestion at major international gateways and other economic factors are challenging ocean transportation, and labor disputes at US shipping ports have historically affected the delivery of our products. Ongoing ocean carrier consolidation, reduced capacity, congestion at major international gateways and other economic factors are challenging ocean transportation. In addition, trucking costs in the US have risen dramatically due to driver shortages, increased labor costs, and safety, environmental, and labor regulations. In addition, global inflation has contributed to already higher incremental freight costs, and such inflation may continue to fuel these costs.In addition, global inflation has contributed to already higher incremental freight costs, and such inflation may continue to fuel these costs.

Elevated inventory levels, combined with the uneven flow of receipts and shipments, could cause further capacity pressures within our US DCs and 3PLs, resulting in higher costs and limiting our ability to efficiently fulfill orders for our wholesale partners and consumers. These pressures may be exacerbated by labor disputes that affect the operations of our partners, which creates significant risk for our business, particularly if these disputes result in work slowdowns, strikes, or similar disruptions. As supply chain disruptions continue and we manage product availability, the timing of sales to our wholesale partners and consumers may continue to be affected, and we face increased risk of order cancellations. We continue to actively manage our inventory positions, including by investing in supply chain and related tools, and transit lead times and related freight costs during fiscal year 2023 have improved compared to fiscal year 2022. However, these disruptions remain elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels and we expect supply chain constraints to continue into our next fiscal year. Our short-term priority remains meeting customer demand and expectations on service levels, which may result in inventory levels outpacing sales growth in the near term.

In addition to logistical supply chain pressures, our network of strategic sourcing partners, which includes material vendors and manufacturers, has navigated delays and disruptions due to the lingering impacts of the pandemic. We have mitigated the effects of production disruptions through expanding and reallocating production capacity with our existing sourcing partners and onboarding new long-term partners to diversify our country-level manufacturing and sourcing lines. We plan to continue growing our distribution network to support our long-term strategic objectives but have experienced and expect to continue to experience headwinds in connection with these efforts, including new sourcing partner capacity constraints and long production lead times to ensure the rigorous quality standards of our brands are met.

Further, we have historically used more expensive air freight to ship our products to meet demand, as needed. While we experienced significant increases in ocean shipping rates resulting in reductions to our gross margin during fiscal year 2022, we began to see improvement during fiscal year 2023 and reduced our use of air freight. However, if we experience such fluctuations in costs in future periods, we may be required to leverage air freight in future periods to maintain service levels. Failure to adequately produce and timely ship our products to customers could lead to lost potential revenue, failure to meet consumer demand, strained relationships with customers and diminished brand loyalty.

Most of our independent manufacturers are located outside of the US and subject us to various risks associated with international regulations, trade agreements, and geopolitical relations.

Most of our independent manufacturers are located in Asia, and products manufactured overseas and imported into the US and other countries are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. For example, while we require our independent manufacturers and suppliers to adhere to environmental, labor, ethical, health, safety, and other business practices and laws, and while we periodically visit and audit their operations, we do not control their business practices. While we require our independent manufacturers and their suppliers to adhere to environmental, labor, ethical, health, safety, and other standard business practices and applicable laws, and while we periodically visit and audit their operations, we do not control their business practices. If non-compliant manufacturers or suppliers cannot or will not become compliant, we will cease conducting business with them, which could increase our costs and interrupt our supply chain. If we discover non-compliant manufacturers or suppliers that cannot or will not become compliant, we will cease conducting business with them, which could increase our costs and interrupt our product supply chain. Our manufacturers’ violations of laws and business standards could also result in negative publicity, which could damage our reputation and brand value. Our manufacturers’ violations of applicable laws and business standards could also result in negative publicity, which could damage our reputation and the value of our brands. Further, if our manufacturers or suppliers violate US or foreign trade laws or regulations, we may
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be subject to extra duties, significant monetary penalties, the seizure and forfeiture of products we are attempting to import, or the loss of our import privileges, which could have a negative effect on our results of operations.

Our international manufacturing operations are subject to numerous other risks and uncertainties, including the following:

• tariffs, import and export controls, and other non-tariff barriers;