Skechers USA Inc today announced that it is organising its operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland in order to establish direct control over its wholesale distribution, merchandising and marketing in the region.

As part of this initiative, the company has created Skechers USA Ltd, a subsidiary with headquarters in London. Effective immediately, Skechers will assume responsibility for sales and logistics from Sportsflair Inc, a subsidiary of The Pentland Group, which has handled distribution for the past five years.

Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers USA, said: "While the brand has experienced great success in the UK through our partnership with Sportsflair/Pentland, we feel there is a great deal of untapped potential for Skechers in the UK - and other regions of Europe as well."

Skechers also announced that it has hired Jeffrey Summers as managing director and Steven McGrath as sales director to manage the daily operations of the new division.

Summers joins Skechers with more than 20 years of international experience in the retail industry. Most recently, Summers was commercial director of the London-based lifestyle brand Ben Sherman, which distributed both Ben Sherman and Acupuncture footwear. He has also held positions as general manager of MH Alshaya in Kuwait, a multi-faceted retailer of more than 22 franchised brands; as merchandise director of Edgars Stores in Southern Africa, a leading fashion clothing and footwear retailer; and as sales director of FII (Footwear Industries International) in London.

McGrath joins the company with nearly 20 years of sales management experience in the fashion retail industry. Prior to joining Skechers he worked as the operations manager for Diesel UK. He has also worked as an independent sales consultant in the UK and Europe for several leading brands including Kangol, Pod and Worldwide Brand Management (Bjorn Borg), as a sales director and key account manager for Pentland Industries, and as a Levi's for Feet and Clarks sales representative for C & J Clarks Footwear.