GUALO RAI Saipan – A Skechers outlet store will soon be built on a 763-square-meter Garapan property on which a travel agency and ice cream parlor had been located.
Gabriel F. Boyer owner of CafÃ© at the Park coffee shop and the new Skechers outlet told the Journal that he is planning to hold the grand opening of the Saipan outlet in June. It will be the first Skechers concept store in the Mariana Islands Boyer said. Skechers is an American shoe company headquartered in Manhattan Beach Calif.
"Skechers caters to a wide market " said Boyer who added that he’s been considering opening a store for years but was stymied by the island’s small population base.
Recently Boyer said Skechers started opening concept shops around the globe. With the concept stores Boyer said Skechers wants the distributors to have a sense of ownership – more commitment to what they do.
Boyer said he leased the Garapan property from former NMI Justice Jose Dela Cruz in October 2009 for 35 years. Upon securing the lease Boyer began renovating the two-story building for the outlet at a cost of about $200 000. Investment in merchandise amounted to between $60 000 and $70 000.
Apart from state-of-the-art fixtures that cost him $50 000 customers can expect to see a restructured parking lot with one entry and one exit.
Prior to opening his outlet selling "lifestyle footwear" from Skechers Boyer said the design fixtures and real estate had to be approved by Skechers corporate office.
Although he is not paying a franchise fee Boyer said all Skechers outlets and concept stores have a uniform design and meet Skechers’ standards.
Once the store is open Saipan shoe connoisseurs can start choosing from an inventory of 6 000 pairs of shoes. The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for June 7.
Although the concept store will carry the current Skechers shoe-styles those that go out of style are overstocked or are last pairs will be moved to clearance racks where they will be discounted Boyer said. MBJ