Footwear firm Skechers USA Inc has opened offices and a showroom in Madrid and established the subsidiary Skechers USA Iberia to support its recently established direct distribution in Spain.

The company's latest strategic move into the European market follows the establishment of Skechers' initial direct distribution in the United Kingdom and Germany two years ago, followed by France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria earlier this year.

"By exporting our business model and handling our product directly in key European regions, we believe we can further build the brand and significantly increase our sales in this area - bringing us closer to our goal of growing our international sales from 10 per cent to 25 to 30 percent of Skechers ' total business within the next three to five years," said Russ Lucas, president of Skechers ' international division.

To oversee operations in Spain, the company has hired Javier Guerra as the country manager for the region. With 10 years experience in the footwear industry, including six years with New Balance's Spanish distributor Alfico and a year at Nike as the footwear sales manager for Spain, Guerra has a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

He will manage Skechers' operations in the region out of the new 3,000-square-foot offices and showroom in Madrid.

Marvin Bernstein, managing partner of Skechers Sarl, a Swiss holding company that runs the international operations, marketing and sales of Skechers product, said: "We believe we can ignite the local enthusiasm necessary to develop and build the brand in Spain to parallel our success in the United Kingdom, Germany and France."