US-based footwear manufacturer and retailer Skechers has entered into an agreement to acquire its existing Scandinavian distributor, Sports Connection.
Sports Connection is the exclusive distributor of Skechers in the Nordic countries.
It also operates a network of 58 Skechers retail locations in the Nordics and Northern Germany, as well as online stores in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
The company also has more than 1,600 wholesale customers.
Following the acquisition, Skechers will make Sports Connection its wholly-owned subsidiary and use the brand to accelerate growth in the Nordic countries.
The company will continue to operate from existing Sports Connection offices and showrooms in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
In addition, Sports Connection CEO Peter Jørgensen will remain in the company as the country manager for all Nordic countries.
Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Skechers US chief operating officer David Weinberg said: “With the planned acquisition of our long-serving and successful distributor in Scandinavia, we are welcoming the Sports Connection team more closely into the Skechers family.
“We are looking forward to further broadening our reach in Europe by combining the team’s local expertise with our worldwide capabilities and financial resources.”
In a separate development, Skechers has reported that its sales for the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal 2023 (FY23) grew 10.0% to $2bn compared to the same period last FY.
During the quarter ending 31 March 2023, the company’s direct-to-consumer and wholesale sales increased 24.5% and 3.5%, respectively.
Skechers’ gross margin was 48.9%, increasing 360 basis points.
Its earnings from operations were $223.6m in Q1 FY23, up 27.1% compared with Q1 in the previous year while its net earnings were $160.4m.
Skechers chief financial officer John Vandemore said: “This was another record quarter for Skechers on both the top and bottom line.
“We significantly grew our Direct-to-Consumer business and moderated our inventory level, overcoming continued challenges in the domestic wholesale market. We also saw encouraging early signs of a robust recovery in China. We remain confident in our strategy and our ability to achieve $10bn in sales by 2026.”