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Dac Clark on Rusty lawsuit, new opportunities and more

By Tiffany Montgomery
November 11, 2008 6:15 AM

I ran into Donald Clark, best known as Dac, of C&C Companies recently when I was visiting Sanuk executives, and decided to follow up with him and ask a few questions about how business is going. I also asked Dac about the Rusty lawsuit settlement, accounts receivables and if C&C has plans to add any new brands.

Why did C&C agree to a settlement in the Rusty license lawsuit?

Vegas and RDot requested that Paul (Carr) and I meet with them to reach a settlement versus going ahead with the lawsuit. We met in mediation and we were able to find the basis to settle the case rather than going to trial. C&C has always held the position that to continue with a law suit would really not be in the interests of C&C or the Rusty brand and its future in the USA. Paul and I are very happy that we were able to reach an agreement and settle the Rusty dispute.

Paul and I and everyone at C&C wish the Rusty crew at the La Jolla Group the best of luck with the Rusty brand in the future.

How will it help C&C now that the lawsuit is over?

C&C management and staff will be able to pour their financial and other resources into the development of the Sanuk, L*Space and Liquid Force Apparel entities.

L SpaceThe three brands that C&C is involved with each won brand of the year awards this year. (Liquid Force from the Water Sports Industry Association and Sanuk and L*Space from SIMA.) It seems you are aligning yourself with strong brands.

Everyone at C&C is very excited about the future of all three brands. Each brand has a very compelling Brand DNA, experienced quality people, terrific involved founders, and strong positions in the market place.

What do you look for in a brand when you are looking for new partners?

There are a lot of great brands in the marketplace. For C&C to get involved we look for the following attributes:

  • The brand needs to be $5 million plus in volume.
  • We look for a brand that has committed and involved founder(s).
  • The brand needs to have a recognizable and consumer-understood brand DNA.
  • The brand needs to be a niche leader.
  • Great product, first-class marketing and great distribution.
We help the brand to do the rest.


Do you expect to add any new brands to the C&C portfolio?

Yes we do. We are reviewing a number of opportunities at this time.

Tell me about your new offices in Irvine. How big are they and why did you move?

The new facilities are the right size for the future. We occupy about 50,000 square feet.

Any room for growth there?

Yes, we have expansion room in the offices and the DC depending on who we bring into the fold.

Have the tight credit markets and/or tough economy impacted C&C at all?

Luckily, we have not been effected at Sanuk or at L*Space. Liquid Force was impacted this year by the high gas prices. You cannot wakeboard without a boat and the lakes and river sports are 15-20 percent off. Credit is OK so far.

Are accounts still paying on time?

Most of the accounts are on time - everyone is concerned with the retailer performance this Christmas season. Retailers are 50/50 on how the economy will perform in Spring/Summer 2009.


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