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Promises of Payless to the Philippine market
03
Dec '09
Payless ShoeSource announced plans for the continued international expansion of the Payless retail chain. Through an agreement with franchise partner Stores Specialists Inc the Philippines will be the next country in Payless' strategic global expansion initiative, with the first stores planned to open by mid-2010.

SSI has a strong background in developing well-known international brands in the Philippines, and is the leading fashion specialty retailer in the country, managing 72 well-known brands and 340 retail stores.

The two companies said they expect to start opening new Payless stores in 2010 and that the Philippines -- the 12th largest country by population with more than 97 million people, and a family-oriented culture that is attracted to affordable fashion -- appears to be a strong fit for the Payless offering and brand promise. Approximately five stores will open in the Philippines beginning mid next year, and more stores are scheduled to open in the coming years to ensure that the market is fully served. This is a multi-year transaction; additional terms were not disclosed.

In the past year, Payless has announced franchise arrangements for the company's global expansion initiative, with six new stores now in the Middle East and stores planned for Russia next year with M.H. Alshaya Company.

"The franchise model is proving to be the most efficient way to reach more international markets with the Payless brand and all it has to offer -- great fashion, well-recognized brands and quality all at a great price," said LuAnn Via, chief executive officer and president of Payless ShoeSource. "Payless brings the know how in footwear specialty retailing, and our franchise partners like SSI bring its strong infrastructure and experience in the local region. Filipino people love to shop and have a strong appetite for American brands, fashion and footwear and accessories. Together with SSI we are truly excited to bring the Payless brand to the Philippines and to affordably serve the footwear and accessory needs of families in the country."

Through the franchise arrangement, Payless provides SSI with seasonal product assortments, as well as expertise in retail operations, merchandising, marketing and brand strategy. SSI provides retail location strategy, construction, logistics, and store training and staffing. SSI will utilize Payless' newest store format, the "Hot Zone" layout, and will purchase Payless product directly from Payless' seasonal assortment.

Like the Payless stores in the U.S., the stores in the Philippines will feature a wide assortment of shoes and accessories for the family including branded products for women, men and children covering a range of wearing occasions.

"We are thrilled to bring Payless and all it represents to the Philippine market," said Anthony Huang, executive vice president of SSI. "As a retailer and fashion brand, Payless is doing tremendous things for people across the globe with its mission to democratize fashion and design in footwear and accessories for all to enjoy. We believe this brand promise will do well here, as it has in the U.S. and other areas of the world."

Payless and its more than 4,500-store chain has an expanding global presence today in countries and territories including the United States, Canada and in Central America, the Caribbean, South America and the Middle East.

The international franchise strategy is a significant move in expanding Payless' diversified real estate strategy that includes a well-balanced mix of mall-based stores with free standing stores and those located in lifestyle and local shopping centers.

Payless ShoeSource


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