Skechers are reporting a financial loss in the 4th quarter of 2011. Sales were down 38 percent to $283.2 million.
The net loss for the quarter includes a pre-tax $45.0 million reserve for potential exposure relating to previously disclosed litigation and regulatory matters
Our international business was also impacted by the slowing of toning sales as well as economic difficulties in many markets…
Link to press release
Following on from the recent settlement between Reebok and the FTC over the claims for their toning shoes, a class action suit has been filed against Skechers by the product liability firm Estey Bomberger.
The product liability law firm of ESTEY BOMBERGER has filed a lawsuit against Skechers USA, Inc. on behalf of 37 plaintiffs across the country that suffered serious injuries as a result of wearing the Skechers Shape-ups and Tone-ups shoes. The lawsuit states that the toning shoes, most easily identified by their pronounced “rocker bottom” sole, have been on the market for several years, and advertised to provide countless health benefits including improved cardiac function and orthopedic benefits.
Link to press release
No response from Skechers Inc is available
Reebok were facing claims that they made false claims about their toning shoes helped to strengthen the leg and buttock muscles. In September 2011 they settles with the Federal Trade Commission (USA) for $25 million. The settlements covered advertising that started in 2009 for the EasyTone walking shoes and the RunTone running shoes. The claims made (“proven to tone buttocks 28% more than other sneakers”) were unsupported. According to the FTC there was no evidence to support this and other claims made by the company.
The director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, David Vladeck said at a press conference: “Consumers expected to get a workout, not worked over.” “The evidence was wholly insufficient to support the objective claims Reebok was making.”
The settlement requires Reebok to deposit $25 million into an escrow account within 15 days. Refunds can then be applied for by consumers. Any money that remains will pass to the U.S. Treasury as disgorgement. Reebok will also be required cease making claims about the health benefits of its shoes unless they’re supported up by at least one well-controlled human clinical study.
Reebok issued a statement said that it had settled “in order to avoid a protracted legal battle”. “Settling does not mean we agreed with the FTC’s allegations; we do not. We fully stand behind our EasyTone technology.”
FTC statement on settlement
Reebok statement on settlement