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Payless opens stores in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

BY CSA STAFF

Topeka, Kan. Payless ShoeSource said Tuesday it has opened its first stores in the Eastern Hemisphere. In partnership with its franchisee M.H. Alshaya Co., the leading retailer in the region, Payless celebrated the grand opening of its first Payless ShoeSource stores in the Middle East, with a 220-sq.-meter store located in The Avenues mall in Kuwait, and a 240-sq.-meter-store in the Sahara Mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“These grand openings represent a significant milestone in the international expansion of our Payless stores, as well as many firsts for Payless – our entrance into the Middle East, the Eastern Hemisphere, and to franchise our stores,” said Matthew Rubel, chairman, CEO and president of Collective Brands, which owns Payless ShoeSource.

Rubel said Alshaya will utilize Payless’ newest store format, referred to as the “Hot Zone,” and purchase Payless product directly from Payless’ seasonal assortment.

Like the Payless stores in the United States, the stores in the Middle East 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.

Payless and its more than 4,500-store chain has an expanding international presence today in countries and territories including the United States, Canada and in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Stores in Central America, South America, Trinidad and the Dominican Republic are operated through joint ventures. Stores in Canada, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Saipan, are operated through wholly owned subsidiaries.

Payless believes that the franchise model will enable it to most effectively reach more international markets with its unique vision, and has plans to expand to other Middle Eastern countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Under the multi-year franchise agreement, Payless and Alshaya said they believe the Middle East could, in the long term, support more than 200 stores.

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If the shoe fits

BY CSA STAFF

Target has teamed up with designer Trish Carroll to launch a limited-edition footwear collection called Miss Trish of Capri that will be available in stores for four months, beginning April 5.

“The Miss Trish of Capri collection brings classic chic to any warm weather ensemble,” said Target SVP Trish Adams. “Now women across the country can add these easy-to-wear, glamorous styles to their wardrobe without the wallet sting.”

Prices range from $29.99 to $34.99 on footwear styles that include vibrant color sandals and wedges with jewel embellishments. Miss Trish is going to need great design and attractive prices to persuade women to make what is essentially a discretionary purchase, but credit Target with providing them the opportunity to do so.

Target’s partnership with Trish Carroll shwos that just because consumers are in a funk and reluctant to spend money on anything other than food and consumables doesn’t mean retailers can afford to stop appealing to their discretionary tendencies.

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Lowe’s CEO earns $7.9 million

BY CSA STAFF

Robert Niblock, the CEO of Lowe’s home improvement stores, received a total compensation package of $7.9 million in 2008, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company paid Niblock $1.1 million in salary, with the remainder coming from stock and option awards, a non-equity incentive plan and other types of compensation.

Niblock received nearly $6.15 million in total compensation in 2007.

The Mooresville, N.C.-based company will hold its annual meeting on Friday, May 29, in Charlotte, N.C.

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