TOMS: Company Overview

Goals

To obtain a topline report of TOMS including a brief business overview, in-depth overview of the company's philanthropy/social impact model and initiatives, and brief media scan on recent news about the company for a podcast interview with TOMS' Chief Giving Officer.

Early Findings

MEDIA SCAN

  • "Toms shifts away from one for one, the giving model it originated" (Fashionista, November 2019)
- Toms has announced that it is moving away from its one-for-one giving model, where a customer in a developing country gets a pair of shoes with every purchase, to a more flexible model where the company gives away a third of its profits to charity.
  • "Exclusive: TOMS Shoes creditors to take over the company" (Reuters, December 2019)
- Creditors have agreed to take over the company in exchange for restructuring its debt, after being warned by credit agencies that it would not be able to repay its $300 million loan due in 2020 without renegotiating with its creditors.
  • "With Restructuring, Toms Shoes Suffers Fate Common to Mall-Based Retailers" (Adweek, January 2020)
- Philanthropic brands are as vulnerable to the retail apocalypse as any legacy mall-based brand. However, as a result of its out-of-court restructuring scheme, which is a debt-for-equity swap with a group of creditors, the company will receive $35 million in cash from its new owners to support growth.
  • "TOMS Shoes Becomes the Latest Company to ‘Get Woke and Go Broke" (RedState, January 2020)
- Founder Blake Mycoskie was a strong advocate of gun control. He may have spent too much time and money on activist pursuits and not enough on the business. Five years ago he held a 50% controlling stake of TOMS that was valued at $600 million. Now he has no ownership the company.
  • "Toms Shoes Creditors to Take Over Firm to Fix Debt: Reuters" (Bloomberg, December 2019)
- It is unclear whether Mycoskie will retain a role in the company, since he is no longer an owner. TOMS had struggled with an industry-wide slump, aggressive competition, and a failure to diversify, and is now in debt.

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