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Skechers expands in South America thru new subsidiary
Mar '09
SKECHERS USA Inc, a global leader in the lifestyle footwear industry, announced that it has expanded its operations in South America by assuming the distribution of its brand in Chile through a newly established subsidiary, SKECHERS Chile Ltda.

With roots stretching back more than a decade in Chile through a distributor agreement and recent sales improving considerably, SKECHERS believes the brand can evolve into one of the most desirable and recognized footwear brands in the country with direct involvement by the Company.

“Chile has become an essential component to our Latin American strategy,” began Michael Greenberg, president of SKECHERS. “It will complement our growing business in Brazil through a recently established subsidiary along with our sales across many Central and South American countries, which are handled by our largest distributor based in Panama. Taking a hands-on approach in Chile will allow us to reach more fashion-savvy consumers in this growing nation of nearly 17 million people.”

With the prior distributor arrangement in Chile, SKECHERS found success under the leadership of division manager Santiago Polanco and brand manager Cristian Donghi. Polanco and Donghi will be managing the new subsidiary with key members from their previous team, ensuring a smooth transition.

“While we helped develop a name for SKECHERS in Chile as a distributor, we'll now have the full resources of SKECHERS at our disposal to grow the brand to a new level in our market,” stated Polanco, country manager of SKECHERS Chile. “As a SKECHERS subsidiary, we expect to reach and meet the needs of more consumers thanks to expanded style choices, coordinated marketing, and the direct involvement and expertise of the global company.”

The wholesale business in Chile, which will now be serviced directly by SKECHERS, is currently comprised of approximately 160 customers covering 500 doors. Chile's SKECHERS retail stores total 10 (six in Santiago and four in the cities of Temuco, Concepcion, Antofagasta and the tourist beach city of Viña del Mar).

As part of the transition, these locations will become company-owned SKECHERS concept stores. Including the Chile stores, SKECHERS now operates more than 250 domestic and international stores, and the Company's distribution partners operate approximately 100 stores, bringing the total number of SKECHERS retail stores worldwide to 350.

SKECHERS currently markets a variety of styles for men, women and kids in Chile as well as styles from the Marc Ecko fashion brand. SKECHERS plans to introduce new product offerings as its footprint expands in the region.

Chile marks the 10th SKECHERS subsidiary and 16th international country into which SKECHERS directly handles its sales. The distribution in Chile was formerly handled by CATECU, S.A., a division of the Swiss-based multi-national wholesaler BATA.


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