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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  12 November 2010

Middle class market attracts Indonesian investment

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Less than two weeks after closing luxury outlet Harvey Nichols, retailer Mitra Adi Perkasa is planning to open a chain of Payless ShoeSource franchises as part of efforts to tap a growing middle-class market.

The UK-based fashion retailer Harvey Nichols granted a license for the Indonesian firm to open a store at Grand Indonesia Shopping Town in 2007.

It opened in October 2008, just as the global economy was entering its worst tailspin in decades.

It was also MAP's first effort to tap the high-end market.

After two years of disappointing sales, MAP decided to shutter the store on October 31.

Fetty Kwartati, corporate secretary and head of investor relations at MAP, said re-pricing and shuffling the merchandise selection had failed to boost sales.

Fetty has told the Jakarta Globe that "for the long term, MAP will focus on developing existing brands, stay in the middle-market segment and will be more selective in adding more brands."

Signaling that strategic shift away from high-end goods to the burgeoning middle-class market, MAP plans to open a Payless ShoeSource franchise next year.

MAP operates 798 stores in 24 cities across Indonesia with a total floor space of 423,919 square meters.

Its other stores include 11 Sogo department stores and two Debenhams, as well as Marks & Spencer.

It is also the exclusive franchise holder for Starbucks.

Payless, a unit of US-based Collective Brands Inc., is the largest family footwear retailer in the West, with more than 4,500 outlets worldwide.

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