Store Report: New Skechers Outlet

Dear Skechers Fans,

A new Skechers Outlet store opened near my home recently and so I decided to make a trip over there tonight to check it out.

When I first noticed the store a few days ago, I was excited that there is a stand alone Skechers outlet in the area. I purchased 2 pairs of Skechers sandals last summer that are favorites, and my impression of the shoes is that they are a good value. I am a fitness instructor and I have plantar fascitis, and I have big feet. Fit and comfort are always issues and I only buy shoes when they are a very good match for my feet.

So, I was a little bit skeptical that I would buy anything, but I wanted a good look around. Also I don’t really need any shoes.

This outlet store is not located near an outlet shopping center, (the other Sketchers outlets are by outlet malls). This is a standalone near a large mid-range shopping mall, but it is a block over near a Fashion Plaza type strip mall. The area is very heavy with retail. The store has good presence from the street and nice, noticeable signage. There is a bus stop immediately in front of the store.

The inside of the store is self-serve, although there are sales associates available to help. The store is very brightly lit, with racks of shoes and on the perimeter, shoes stacked all the way up to the ceiling. The racks in the center are low so you can see all around the store easily. The music was very upbeat pop music, and so with the bright lights the store has a high-energy (but not obnoxiously so) feel.

I was greeted by a sales associate and found out that the store has been open approximately one month and it has been busy since opening. The store is running a BOGO (that’s buy one, get one 1/2 off) sale.

So, I went about trying to find some shoes to try on.

The women’s section, very large – nearly the whole front third of the store – was very dominated by athleisure styles – brightly colored lace-ups, slip-ons, elastic laces, a few mary jane sneakers-- maybe 1/3 or more of the women’s section. Honestly, a lot of the athleisure styles look all the same to me, but there was variety – a lot of bright colors and many attractive combinations. White soles seem to be a thing on many of their shoes (too bad because they get dirty looking, wonder if that is a tactic to keep you buying new?)

I was looking for sandals but found none. On the far wall I found some Fall-ish looking colors and just a few couple bootie type shoes. I asked the clerk if they had sandals and she said they opened mid-season (so maybe I missed the sandals). But then she suggested that I visit another Sketchers store in my area (that I had no idea existed). She said it is a “concept store” and that they get all the new styles. The concept store is located inside a fancier mall (that has a Nordstrom) and is not a self-serve store, it is a bring the shoes out to you store, and she said they have the newest shoes but not as much in stock as the outlet store. (And the outlet store was absolutely, fully LOADED with shoes – if you want to know where that inventory is, a good chunk seems to be right here, in Greenfield, WI!) :slight_smile:

So anyway, no luck on the sandals. I decided to try on some athleisure and I was skeptical because I did not like the Go Walk slip-ons I tried on about a year ago. With the slip-ons I am just between a 10 and 11 an d there is no 10.5, so I decided to try a pair of 11 lace-ups and found an acceptable pair of Skechers Burst - New Influence shoes. These have memory foam in them. (these were $24.99 after the BOGO 1/2 off)

I also found a style that I loved (but they did not have in my size and I suspect may be rough with my in-between sizing, but I believe they were labeled “Skechers premium” and they were a leather-upper mary jane style with a wedge heel and velcro strap. And they were navy blue sparkle (nice!)

Enough shoe detail? Well, if you are a lady that wants an athleisure shoe, I think your chances are very good to find something you like at the Skechers outlet.

I did “spy” on some of the other shoppers while I was there, two couples and a lady and her mom who were looking for a replacement pair for the mom’s favorite Skechers shoes. I also noticed another lady walking by wearing a pair of Skechers sandals exactly like my favorites (a fake Birkenstock look.)

After finding the Bursts for me, I struggled to find a second pair, plus I don’t really need shoes so I checked out the Boys’ section. This is exciting. I have 3 boys, 2 in boy sizes and 1 in men’s sizes. The boys shoes looked very good. A few years ago Skechers boys shoes were just made very very heavy and they seem to have improved. The boys line also has many styles that are velcro strap and z-strap which are good for boys on the go and kids with special needs. My 2nd pair was for my youngest son, also $49.99. He did not want to try them on but when I made him he said they are comfortable.

The men’s section had a lot of nice looking shoes too, quite a variety, and I would not hesitate to send my husband over to get some shoes for himself.

I don’t have girls but the girls’ section was full of rainbow-bright colored shoes, attractive and fun.

To repeat - for my family the main pull to Skechers is for value. I would normally buy our family’s shoes on Zappos and I would normally pay more for top-rated high quality brand shoes. It seems that the Skechers are fine quality shoes and often quite a bit less than what I would pay on Zappos.

At checkout I was asked to join the loyalty program and I did. The loyalty program is called Skechers Elite, and I will get a 20% off coupon on the next purchase right away, plus points for every dollar spent and $10 gift certificates awarded for every 100 points. Checkout was busy, two associates were ringing up sales with two other customer before it was my turn. I noticed bagged candy for sale by the register and made a mental note this might be good for bringing my kids shoe shopping (I will tell you it can be difficult with 3 boys who don’t like trying on shoes.)

I was not planning to spend $80 on this research trip, but there you go! Although I don’t like going to the mall much, I will make an effort to get to the concept store in the future.

For shareholders who may be feeling a little glum, this store visit was a good experience. I would guess that SKX will do well with back to school. I will be going back for my boys.

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no position in SKX but I’ve been considering starting one


I also noticed another lady walking by wearing a pair of Skechers sandals exactly like my favorites (a fake Birkenstock look.)
God no, please don’t tell me that’s another law suit coming our way?


Hi Ant,

That’s funny, yes, I’ve also observed that SKX gets sued repeatedly for borrowing looks from other makers. However, this strategy seems to work for them quite well – one of my friends told me that my Skechers birks were more attractive than clunkier birks. (I’ll tall you that she is now wearing an adorable pair of strappy birks that are not in the regular old style). My friend is more fashionable, I am more practical, (and more frugal) so I’m the one buying the SKX.

What I’ve observed is that when SKX is getting sued they haven’t been losing. I don’t remember them losing once on styling infringements. (And thank God for that because I’m not sure they can afford to lose, and it would be a lawsuit party as the designers piled on.)

I actually think as a business strategy it’s not bad — the knock off a very popular look with their own flair and details and they sell it for about 1/2 or 2/3 the price of the originals – and note that their audience is different, they are the more practical buyers. Because the looks they copy are very popular they might have some assurance of product success and less time and money wasted on trial and error.

My largest worries for SKX are that they are keeping customers happy and that their customers can afford the shoes. With all this talk of the middle class getting squeezed, I wonder if that will hurt them. But in terms of pleasing customers, I loved that the outlet store had a large inventory so that they had some shoes for me to try in my size. I like the rewards program (which has free shipping and that is good for my harder to find size). I also like that shoes are said to be recession-proof – everybody needs shoes. The Domino’s pizza CEO, Patrick Doyle, recently said in an interview that unemployment is lower and he’s happy that more people have money to buy pizzas, so perhaps my worries about SKX customers budgets staying healthy isn’t a big concern.

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Can’t stop the lawsuits, it’s the way the system is designed, if you want to file suit, you pretty much can.

That being said, design patents are all but worthless. My father was a designer and he held several design patents. The problem with a design patent is that in most cases they cover aesthetic considerations. And in most cases it only requires minor deviations from the design to defeat the patent claim.


What I’ve observed is that when SKX is getting sued they haven’t been losing.


Skechers Will Pay $40 Million to Settle FTC Charges That It Deceived Consumers with Ads for “Toning Shoes”:…

And there are lawsuits still pending against SKX from Nike and Adidas. The Adidas lawsuit is not a design patent, but a functional patent case, so it’s outcome is more unsure (at least to me).

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Thanks for all of the good info. How long have you had your plantar’s? I’ve had it in both feet. As I’m sure you know, it can be quite painful. The good news for me and others I know who have had it is that it tends to mostly go away, eventually. For me it was a few years. Hope you get through yours quickly.


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Hi Don,

Plantar fascitis has been a nagging issue for me in the past 5 years or so. Part of my issue is it is not that bad right now, and instead of working on getting rid of it completely, I have been living with it in “pretty good” status. I wear shoes nearly all the time, try not to walk barefoot too much, and wear good comfort shoes, nothing too crazy.

I should be stretching and rolling my legs on the foam roller and wearing a thing called a Strassburg sock at night, and there are more things I can do, like going to physical therapy and putting inserts in more of my shoes

Because I teach an aerobics class I tend to pound my feet on a regular basis and so that self-care should be more important!

Thanks so much,

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I, like you, only did a few of things you are supposed to if you have plantar fascitis. I like to walk a lot, so when it got bad I would back off and do some of the stretching, etc. I never did the Strassburg sock. I guess I’m just kind of stubborn. Fortunately, it eventually went away, at least for the most part. It still flares up once in a while, but never as bad as a few years ago.

With teaching aerobics, you probably do quite a bit more pounding of your feet than I do. For your sake, I hope you find relief before too long. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it certainly can be annoying.