With plans to double its business in Japan over the next three to five years, Skechers USA Inc. is in the process of transitioning its business in Japan from a third-party distributor to a new wholly owned subsidiary, Skechers Japan G.K.
The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based company will make a full-scale entry into the market there beginning with its fall ’12 collection of lifestyle and performance footwear for men, women and children.
The broader product offering will be supported by high-profile marketing campaigns and new Skechers retail stores in the region. Currently, 30 percent of Skechers’ business is done overseas.
Footwear veteran Hirokazu Iwasaki will head up the new business as representative director and country manager. Iwasaki’s team will service major accounts, and Skechers has also signed an agreement with Osaka-based distribution partner SSK Corp. to oversee nationwide independents.
“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,” Skechers President Michael Greenberg said in a company release. “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.”