Skechers has shrugged off stiff competition from the likes of Adidas and Nike to continue growing, the result of the footwear brand’s efforts to build a presence in newer markets like Germany, Britain, Japan, and China, where it just opened a store at Shanghai Disney Resort. All the while it is selling more via its website and its own stores at home in the United States. And despite a bumpy environment for U.S. department stores, where it sells a lot of its shoes, Skechers has returned to growth in its wholesale business domestically. The brand is now No. 2 in the U.S. footwear industry behind Nike, an effect of its focusing as much, if not more, on comfort as it does on style and flashiness.
Skechers is the top brand for walking shoes, work shoes, and casual shoes, and its GOwalk slip-ons are big among those with conditions such as arthritis. It has capitalized on the foibles of Under Armour, whose footwear business is slumping despite industry growth. Skechers has made investments aimed at lowering its cost structure long term, including opening a new distribution center in China. The company’s growth prospects have lifted Skechers shares 62% this year so far. But becoming a top dog does not come without some drama: Nike has sued Skechers for patent infringement, while Skechers has taken out large ads in the New York Times, accusing Nike of being a bully.
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