Deckers Outdoor Corp. told investment analysts at the ICR conference that it expects gross margins to increase by one percentage point this year, but the group will increase marketing expenditures to boost sales growth, especially for Sanuk and to support international expansion.
The group will also invest in new stores for Ugg and its other brands. It opened 36 new doors in 2013, taking the door count up to 113 units, and it is targeting 200 locations by the end of 2015. Direct-to-consumer sales will already represent 33 percent of revenues this year.
The company is testing an online customization facility for Ugg, and it has opened a Chinese website. Asia is currently the fastest-growing region for Deckers, and half of its business there goes over the internet or through single-brand stores.
Besides Ugg and Sanuk, the group markets other brands including Hoka One One and Teva. It is about to move to a new 280,000-square-foot coporate headquarters from a former airport hangar in Goleta, California, and a cluster of buildings scattered around it.