Skechers Is now the Second Most Wanted Company
Casual footwear brand gives athletic-shoe companies a run for their money
Skechers accounted for 5% of the sports-footwear market for the quarter ended in March, according to retail tracker NPD Group, moving past Adidas AG’s 4.6% as well as the 4% shares notched by Asics and New Balance.
Nike Inc. and its proprietary Jordan brand together account for 62% of athletic shoes sold in the U.S. But Skechers’s rise highlights Americans’ growing preference for cheaper shoes they may actually never use for running and the threat that trend poses to some established athletic brands. After dipping earlier this decade, Skechers’s sales have resumed their growth, climbing 29% last year to $2.4 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Running is the largest U.S. athletic footwear category by retail sales, according to SportsOneSource. For the first time, sales of fashion-focused casual shoes are driving sales instead of the more sophisticated running shoes that long propelled the category, according to the firm.
Skechers in 2012 paid $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle false-advertising claims about their Shape Ups shoes, which were touted to tone the buttocks. The company disputed any fault at the time. The growth of Skechers’s footwear business marks another challenge for Germany-based Adidas. Adidas reported a 7% increase in North American sales for the quarter ended March 31.