Central Marketing Group (CMG) will spend 3 billion baht to open outlets of Payless ShoeSource, the largest U.S. shoe store chain, in Thailand and Vietnam over the next five years.
Thailand’s biggest fashion distributor has received a five-year license from Payless ShoeSource Inc., a business unit of Collective Brands Inc., the leading U.S. shoe company, to operate its multi-brand stores in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
“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.
Pichai Chirathivat, CMG’s chief executive, said the first Payless opened in Megabangna shopping center on the first of November, with retail space of 250 square meters.
Mr. Pichai said it is time for Thais to experience the popular U.S. footwear store, which offers fashion options along with a “fun and happy” shopping atmosphere for family members.
CMG now distributes four shoe and shoe store brands in Thailand: Payless ShoeSource and Hush Puppies from the U.S., Cushe from the UK, and Feiyue from France.
A total of 45 Payless shops will open in the region over the next five years.
Payless clearly recognizes the incredible retail potential in Thailand and neighboring emerging markets.
The brand has established a light presence in Asia, but it seems to be really pushing its agenda since 2011 with stores opening up in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore under the same management. In 2010, Payless opened 9 stores in the Philippines.
No doubt the opportunity for success exists, however the brand will need to be careful in making aggressive development decisions, as inflation, shifting consumer trends, and increased competition have been thorns in the sides of multinational brand operators in Asia.
With the right data, tools, and strategic approach, Payless just might make a household name here in Asia.