Shoe giant Skechers set to open stores in Belfast and Craigavon creating 20 jobs
US shoe giant Skechers is opening its first two stores in Northern Ireland creating around 20 new jobs, it can be revealed.
The lifestyle footwear retailer is set to take over the site of the former Lipsy store on Donegall Place as its new flagship business in Northern Ireland.
The 1,850 sq ft ground floor unit, which has a larger 2,700 sq of upper floor section, is located beside McDonald's in the heart of Belfast city centre.
The Belfast store has been let from 'private investment clients' of McConnell Chartered Surveyors. It will be the first store of its kind in Northern Ireland, and is due to open its doors in August.
And it's also opening a second store at the Rushmere Shopping Centre in Craigavon, which is expected to in September.
Both deals have been completed by commercial property agents CBRE Dublin.
Skechers has drafted in a number of big name celebrities over the years in a bid to boost the brand's image. That includes Christina Aguilera, Robert Downey Jr and Kim Kardashian.
The Skechers business is being run as a franchise by the Shuz 4 U group. The company has around 10 stores in the Republic.
Founded in 1982, Skechers is headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California and was founded by Robert Greenberg and his son Michael. It sells a host of trainers and sportswear, but has also diversified into dress and casual shoes, and boots. The business gained an early reputation for innovative and strong marketing tactics, using celebrity endorsements and television advertisements to sell their products.
While the shoes have been on sale in Northern Ireland for some time, the two new additions are the company's first standalone stores here.
Skechers is now worth around $2bn and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It has a global workforce of almost 7,000 staff.