Payless ShoeSource and its franchisee partner, M.H. Alshaya Co., has opened the first Payless store in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with a 227-square-meter store located in Bawadi Mall, Al Ain.
“We are excited to continue our Payless store expansion in the Middle East with our fourth in the region,” states Matt Rubel, chairman, CEO and president of Collective Brands, Inc. in Topeka, KS. “The franchise model is working well for us.” Rubel adds, “We are thrilled to bring shoppers in the Middle East all that Payless has to offer—great style, quality and brand names, all at a great price.”
Through the franchise arrangement, Payless provides Alshaya with retail operations and merchandising expertise. Alshaya provides retail location strategy, construction, logistics, and store staffing. Alshaya will utilize Payless’ newest store format, referred to as the “Hot Zone,” and purchases Payless product directly from Payless’ seasonal assortment.
Like the Payless stores in the U.S., the Middle East location features a wide assortment of shoes and accessories for the family. Brands featured include Airwalk, American Eagle and the Disney featuring Hannah Montana, Dora the Explorer, Spider-Man and Cars. Also available are Payless Designer Collections with off-the-runway looks from New York fashion designers Lela Rose with Lela Rose for Payless and Christian Siriano with Christian Siriano for Payless.
This international expansion strategy is also 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, according to the company.