Skechers USA Inc. said that it is dropping its third-party distributor arrangement in Japan, and forming a wholly owned subsidiary in hopes of significantly growing its market there.

The Manhattan Beach casual shoemaker on Monday said that Skechers Japan G.K. plans to offer a wider array of products in Japan later this year, and expects to double its business in Japan over the next three to five years.

There also are plans to open Skechers retail stores across Japan and significantly increase its marketing campaign there. Hirokazu Iwasaki has been named representative director and country manager for the subsidiary.

“Japan has historically been one of our biggest distribution outlets, so we have a clear sense of the potential for our brand in this country,” said President Michael Greenberg in a statement. “We see Japan as one of the world’s most coveted markets, and look forward to realizing the impact that our direct subsidiary presence can have on Japanese consumers.”

Skechers’ international business now comprises 30 percent of total sales, with subsidiaries in Brazil, Canada, Chile and Europe, and joint ventures in Asia.

Shares closed up 26 cents, or 2 percent, to $12.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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