Skechers USA, Inc. plans to double its business in Japan over the next three to five years with the launch of its new subsidiary, Skechers Japan, G.K.

The company will assume direct distribution of its brand from Achilles Corporation as part of an aggressive expansion strategy to build its brand into one of the country's top footwear companies. Initiatives include growing its offering of Skechers men's and children's lifestyle footwear, building the company's fitness division, expanding its consumer base through high-profile marketing campaigns and opening new Skechers retail stores across the country.

“Skechers has tremendous potential to grow into one of Japan's biggest footwear brands. The country has consistently emerged as one of our top five distribution outlets, year after year,” said Marvin Bernstein, managing partner of Skechers S.a.r.l. “We're confident that Skechers Japan can build on Achilles' foundation and leverage our business by connecting with millions of consumers firsthand: presenting the collections, campaigns and store concepts that have made Skechers world famous.”

“Skechers' stylish product and strong identity sets them apart from many other companies,” added Hiroshi Nakata, president of Achilles Corporation. “We are honored to have contributed to Skechers' footprint in Japan by selling over 14 million pairs throughout the last 17 years, and anticipate a successful transition.”

Skechers is establishing its new subsidiary office in Tokyo and has hired Hirokazu Iwasaki (veteran of Nike, Adidas and Puma) as Skechers Japan's representative director and country manager to launch and oversee its business operations. The subsidiary is scheduled to debut its Fall/Winter fitness and lifestyle collections for men, women and children at Tenjikai in February 2012. The lines will begin shipping in July 2012, and will be supported by the Company's extensive print, TV, outdoor and in-store marketing campaigns.

“The launch of Skechers Japan is the latest step in our strategy to maximize our presence across Asia, as well as to grow our international business to be approximately 50 percent of our total sales,” added Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “Since we launched joint ventures in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in 2007, our presence in those regions has escalated — with improved brand awareness and imaging, increased points of distribution, and stronger sales. We believe Skechers Japan can become one of our biggest subsidiaries.”