Payless to Add Franchises in Korea, Southeast Asia

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Topeka, KA—As part of its franchise expansion plan calling for 700 additional stores in new and existing countries by 2014, Collective Brands, parent of Payless ShoeSource, announced today two deals that will expand the shoe chain into South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Under the agreements, Payless expects to open six new stores this year in Korea partnering with Emart, a business unit of Shinsegae Group of  Seoul,  and five stores each in Thailand and Vietnam with partner Central Marketing Group, a business unit of Central Group, Bangkok.

After the expansion, Payless would have franchise stores in 20 countries.

Latest Store Formats to be Used

“The franchise model has proven to be a profitable and effective way to quickly reach more international markets with the Payless brand and all it has to offer…” said LuAnn Via, Payless ShoeSource’s president/ceo. “Our franchise partners like Emart and Central Marketing Group bring their strong infrastructure and experience within the local market. Together with these new franchise partners we are truly excited to bring the Payless brand to these three countries and their nearly 200 million consumers.”

Payless began opening international franchises in 2009 and plans to accelerate new stores in the next few years.  Payless’ nearly 4,500-store chain has an expanding global presence in 34 countries and territories including the United States and Canada, where stores are wholly owned, as well as in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the retailer operates stores primarily through joint-venture arrangements.

Both Emart and Central Marketing Group will utilize Payless’ newest store format and will purchase Payless product directly from Payless’ seasonal assortment with slight adjustments per the localized footwear needs of the market. Like its domestic Payless stores, the international franchise stores are expected to feature a wide assortment of shoes and accessories for women, men and children covering a range of wearing occasions.

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