Collective Brands to Expand to Middle East

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Collective Brands Inc. plans to open Payless ShoeSource stores in the Middle East, beginning next year.

Collective Brands, which also operates the Stride Rite shoe store chain, said Wednesday it will team up with retail franchisee M.H. Alshaya to open stores in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

The Topeka-based company says it believes the region could support more than 200 stores.

Collective Brands already has more than 600 stores in Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Guam and Saipan. This would be the company's first venture into the Middle East.

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