SKECHERS Launches Japan Subsidiary
Initiatives Include New Stores, Marketing Campaigns and an Expanded Performance and Lifestyle Footwear Offering
SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE: SKX), a global leader in the lifestyle footwear industry, today announced that the Company is transitioning its business in Japan from a third-party distributor to the new wholly owned subsidiary, SKECHERS Japan, G.K. With plans to double its business in Japan over the next three to five years, the Company will make a full-scale entry into the market starting from the 2012 Autumn/Winter collection of performance and lifestyle footwear for men, women and children.
The broader assortment, which will be supported by high-profile marketing campaigns and new SKECHERS retail stores across the country, will include the Company’s flagship performance lines SKECHERS GOrun and SKECHERS GOwalk footwear; an expanded offering of men’s and women’s lifestyle footwear; and popular kids’ collections that have established SKECHERS as America’s top kids’ lifestyle brand with character-driven lines Bella Ballerina, Twinkle Toes, Luminators and Z-Strap.
“Japan has historically been one of our biggest distribution outlets, so we have a clear sense of the potential for our brand in this country,” said Michael Greenberg, president of SKECHERS. “Our new subsidiary’s goal is simple and specific: to employ all the strategies that have made us a billion-dollar brand around the world, and to tailor them in every way that will excite, educate and build demand. We see Japan as one of the world’s most coveted markets, and look forward to realizing the impact that our direct subsidiary presence can have on Japanese consumers.”
Footwear veteran Hirokazu Iwasaki (formerly with Nike, Adidas and Puma) will head up SKECHERS Japan as the new representative director and country manager. Iwasaki’s team will directly service major accounts; the Company has also signed an agreement with Osaka-based distribution partner SSK Corporation to oversee nationwide independents.
“I’ve watched SKECHERS for a number of years in the footwear industry, and its potential has been very clear – from its bold, fashionable collections to its impressive marketing,” said Iwasaki. “I am excited to oversee this new chapter of one of America’s most popular lifestyle brands as it enters the performance industry in Japan – and to launch collections that have been embraced by the athletes and celebrities, and will soon be available for Japanese consumers.”
“Hiro has a genuine foothold in the industry – firsthand experience with global athletic brands, and a deep understanding of how to translate them to Japan’s consumers,” added Marvin Bernstein, managing partner of SKECHERS S.à.r.l. “Our brand is known for its high-profile advertising and marketing, such as airing one of this year’s most popular commercials during America’s biggest advertising platform, the Super Bowl. This is the kind of attention we intend to inject into our new business in Japan.”
With international business currently comprising 30 percent of its total sales, SKECHERS offers thousands of styles designed for every age and activity, from athletic performance footwear to sport and casual lifestyle product. The company’s global product ambassadors include TV host Brooke Burke as the face of SKECHERS’ fitness and lifestyle looks for women, and elite runner Meb Keflezighi, who won the U.S. Olympic Trials and will compete on the U.S. Olympic Marathon team in Skechers GOrun footwear.
ABOUT SKECHERS USA, Inc.
SKECHERS USA, Inc., based in Manhattan Beach, California, designs, develops and markets a diverse range of footwear for men, women and children under the SKECHERS name, as well as under several uniquely branded names. SKECHERS footwear is available in the United States via department and specialty stores, Company-owned SKECHERS retail stores and its e-commerce website, and over 100 countries and territories through the Company’s global network of distributors and subsidiaries in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Japan, and across Europe, as well as through joint ventures in Asia. For more information, please visit www.skechers.com, and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SKECHERS) and Twitter (twitter.com/#!/SKECHERSUSA).
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, any statement that may predict, forecast, indicate or simply state future results, performance or achievements, and can be identified by the use of forward looking language such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will result,” “could,” “may,” “might,” or any variations of such words with similar meanings. Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include international, national and local general economic, political and market conditions including the ongoing global economic slowdown and market instability; entry into the highly competitive performance footwear market; sustaining, managing and forecasting costs and proper inventory levels; losing any significant customers, decreased demand by industry retailers and cancellation of order commitments due to the lack of popularity of particular designs and/or categories of products; maintaining brand image and intense competition among sellers of footwear for consumers; anticipating, identifying, interpreting or forecasting changes in fashion trends, consumer demand for the products and the various market factors described above; sales levels during the spring, back-to-school and holiday selling seasons; and other factors referenced or incorporated by reference in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011. The risks included here are not exhaustive. The Company operates in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time and the companies cannot predict all such risk factors, nor can the companies assess the impact of all such risk factors on their respective businesses or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. Moreover, reported results should not be considered an indication of future performance.
SKECHERS USA, Inc.
Jennifer Clay, 310-937-1326