Payless ShoeSource Opens in Middle East

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Payless ShoeSource has opened its first locations in the Middle East as the retailer expands overseas despite a challenging economy at home.

The Topeka-based chain said today its Middle East franchisee opened two stores in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Payless operator Collective Brands also plans stores in United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

The company said it expects to open up to 10 stores in the region this year and 20 to 25 more in 2010 with an ultimate goal of around 200 locations.

The Middle Eastern Payless stores feature most of the same inventory found in U.S. locations, including brands like Airwalk and Disney's Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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