The record sales recorded by Skechers internationally during the second quarter of this year was repeated in South Africa. “Over the past few years we’ve grown across all customer bases and accounts,” says Ahmed Habib, who became country manager when Skechers established a distributorship in South Africa through Brandfolio SA three years ago.
They are especially pleased with the good sell through, with some independent customers doubling their orders every year. “This is because Skechers is selling, and the independents repeat orders because the end user likes our product,” he says.
Retailers realise that if they stock Skechers, the shoes will sell themselves — but you cannot sell products if people can’t see it, adds brand manager Yusuf Vadi enthusiastically. In South Africa the brand has certainly grown market share over the past three years, he says. He ascribes the popularity of the brand to the fact that 80% of retail prices are under the psychological barrier of R1 000, as well as the comfort, colours and styling of the shoes.
Their flagship D’Lites range has also been in the spotlight during the recent seasonal product showings to local retailers. South African retailers can select their own unique ranges, best suited to their own customers, from the thousands of new styles available for the winter season next year. They will drop between March and July.
The next generation of the popular Skechers Performance GOwalk series was also on display. There are three categories in the GOwalk series, explains Vadi. He categorises them as Good, Better and Best.
The Good GOwalk Joy (women) and Max (men) and their comfort features will be popular sellers, retailing for about R749. The Better updated GOwalk Evolution now has a wider toebox and more strategically placed rebound pods for responsive cushioning.
The top of the range Revolution features lightweight, responsive, Ultra GO cushioning and high-rebound Ultra Pillars underfoot to react to every step to provide ultimate comfort. The crystallized rubber construction of the pillars in the outsole ensure added durability, while the outsole construction prevent debris collection.
In the knit-in texture upper, Skechers Performance’s proprietary SOCKNIT360 knit construction acts like a soft, stretchable fabric upper that provides round-the-foot comfort and a sock-like fit. A pull-on loop in the heel overlay panel and a soft, stretchable, collar assists with easy slip-on fit.
Over the past seven years Skechers has gained acceptance in the distance running community with its GOrun performance collection, which was launched with the help of elite runner Meb Keflezighi, who later won the 2013 Boston Marathon wearing the Skechers GOmeb Speed 3. Brandfolio also showed a signature 2018 Boston marathon shoe — at 124g their lightest shoe ever – to South African retailers. But, the best-selling Skechers running shoe in the South African market, is still the GOrun Ride 7, says Vadi.