Skechers planning GCC expansion

US-based sports shoe brand Skechers is investing between $27 million and $30 million to open new stores across the GCC. The brand is planning to open 142 additional stores, bringing the total to 180 by 2018, on the back of strong sales. The company has 1, 000 stores globally and aims to have around 2,000 by 2018. “The company is growing nicely. This year, we’ll end at approximately $2.4 billion in revenue from $1.84 billion in 2013. In 2015, we’re looking at anywhere from $2.8 billion to $3 billion in sales,” says Skechers president Michael Greenberg.

Skechers’ revenue in the GCC is expected to grow from $50 million in 2013 to $95 million this year. Greenberg expects the Middle East, where there are 61 Skechers stores, to account for around 3% of the company’s revenue next year. The company is anticipated to ship over four million pairs of shoes to the Middle East in 2015 from 2.5 million in 2014. It aims to ship over 100 million pairs of shoes worldwide by the end of this year.

Next year, Skechers will focus on developing its product categories, aside from opening new outlets. “The strategy is to continue to grow the business methodically and strategically; grow our different categories of footwear, meaning if there’s a category of footwear that we’re in and we only command a certain amount of shelf space, we can grow and become a more important supplier to that retailer,” Greenberg explains. Skechers currently sells a range of shoes for men, women and children including sneakers, sandals and boots, to name some, with an average price of $60.

The company’s shoes are in the mid-market and above, according to Greenberg. On whether the company is considering entering the luxury segment of the market, he elaborates, “It’s not a business that is a focus of ours. We are volume-minded. We want to touch a lot of consumers. You can’t produce, ship and market 100 million pairs of shoes if you’re in the luxury category.”

The company is not planning to grow through acquisitions at present, but it is considering it. “We are not in the acquisition mode because we believe our focus should be on Skechers and there are tremendous growth opportunities within Skechers. So we can continue to grow organically for years to come, but I would not rule out that acquisitions won’t happen,” Greenberg concludes.

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