Huge steps for Payless ShoeSource

Huge steps for Payless ShoeSource

45 shops will open in Thailand, Indochina

Central Marketing Group (CMG) will spend 3 billion baht to open outlets of Payless ShoeSource, the largest US shoe store chain, in Thailand and Vietnam over the next five years.

Warangkana Sumethasorn, CMG’s assistant vice-president in charge of Payless ShoeSource, inspects the Megabangna store.

Thailand's biggest fashion distributor has received a five-year licence from Payless ShoeSource Inc, a business unit of Collective Brands Inc, the leading US shoe company, to operate its multi-brand stores in Thailand and Indochina.

It set up the new Central Marketing subsidiary exclusively to look after shop expansion in this region.

Pichai Chirathivat, CMG's chief executive, said the first Payless opened in Megabangna shopping centre on Nov 1, with retail space of 250 square metres.

Two more will open at year-end, at CentralPlaza Ratchada-Rama III in Bangkok and Robinson Department Store in Chon Buri province.

A dozen more stores are planned for Bangkok and other major provinces over the next five years at a total cost of 3 billion baht.

As well, CMG will open the first Payless in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam this year and four more next year.

"We've set up an independent company to expand the shoes business, as demand in this sector grows more than in others," said Warangkana Sumethasorn, CMG's assistant vice-president in charge of Payless ShoeSource.

The Megabangna branch offers shoes designed by Isabel Toledo, whose clothing creations are worn by US First Lady Michelle Obama, and several trendy, comfortable shoe and accessory brands.

These include Airwalk, Dexter, Montego Bay Club, Above the Rim, Lower East Side and Smartfit for children.

Prices start at 890 baht a pair for women, 950 baht for men and 550 baht for children.

Payless is working with popular designers for special collections.

They include Lela Rose and Christian Siriano, the latter a winner on the Project Runway TV show.

Mr Pichai said it is time for Thais to experience the popular US footwear store, which offers fashion options along with a "fun and happy" shopping atmosphere for family members.

Ms Warangkana said the company has earmarked 150 million baht for marketing activities.

A total of 45 Payless shops will open in the region over the next five years.

CMG now distributes four shoe and shoe store brands in Thailand _ Payless ShoeSource and Hush Puppies from the US, Cushe from the UK and Feiyue from France.

Two more shoe brands will be added.

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