SOURCE: Collective Brands, Inc.

May 05, 2009 10:00 ET

Collective Brands, Inc. Announces New eCommerce Technology Platform for the Company's Brand Websites

New Technology Is Part of Company's Investment in Shared Infrastructure; Bolsters E-Tailing Distribution Channel; Payless.com® First to Get New Platform

TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - May 5, 2009) - As part of its strategic investment in shared infrastructure, to enhance its e-tailing channel and poise the company for international brand expansion and future brand growth, Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) today announced a new best-in-class eCommerce technology platform developed by ATG (NASDAQ: ARTG), a premier eCommerce technology provider, which has launched first with Payless.com®. Over the next 12 months, the new technology will be extended into the company's additional brand sites including striderite.com, keds.com and sperrytopsider.com, among others.

"This new eCommerce platform is a strong example of the synergy benefits of Collective Brands, Inc. and how we are able to leverage investments in back-end technologies, infrastructure and shared resources to bring our brands to life for our target consumers," said Matt Rubel, CEO and Chairman of Collective Brands, Inc. "This new leading technology is important for many reasons -- it significantly enhances our eCommerce capabilities to expand our brands' reach beyond the wholesale and retail channels; and it is scalable and flexible, therefore a key enabling technology to support the international expansion of our brands and allows us to cost-effectively support additional brands in the future."

The new technology will replace three older web platforms used by the company's brands and is one of many enhancements Collective Brands is making to build best-in-class eCommerce capabilities. Also as part of Collective Brands' unique shared infrastructure model, the company said that it has created Centers of Excellence -- expert teams that serve as collective resources in such key functional areas as Information Technology, eCommerce and Global Distribution, among others -- to leverage the company's strategic investments and to provide scale and expertise across all of the brands. A new global distribution network, including eCommerce fulfillment, is also being implemented by the company, providing consolidation and facilities modernization to serve the brands and their wide ranging customers.

The relaunched Payless.com site is live now with the new eCommerce technology, providing an enhanced online shopping experience with new personalization and navigational features. The technology platform enables consumers to:

--  See merchandise suggestions, brand and trend messaging, and special
    offers tailored to their shopping preferences.
    
--  Browse the websites more quickly and elegantly through enhanced
    "faceting" features.  For example, the new technology enables the ability
    to sort product selections based on specific criteria such as shoe
    silhouette (wedge, flat, sneaker, heel, ankle boot), popular seasonal
    trends (buckles, peep-toes, ankle straps), as well as color, size, width
    and heel height.  Each of the company's brands will create sort criteria
    customized to its product set and customers.
    
--  Get more detailed product information and see more robust product
    images with style and detail attributes.  Product pages will include more
    relevant information to help customers select the best product for their
    needs.
    

Payless.com and the other Collective Brands' sites have experienced continued growth in customer traffic, both from online shoppers and multi-channel shoppers, who utilize the sites to research styles online, or "pre-shop," and then visit Payless ShoeSource, Stride Rite retail store locations or one of the company's retail partners to try on and buy shoes. Ensuring faster response times while supporting higher visitor volumes is also core to the new technology platform.

Future releases of the new technology platform are expected to also support the global expansion of Collective Brands' brands with functionality to accept international currencies and to present the sites in multiple languages.

About Collective Brands, Inc., Payless & Stride Rite Corporation

Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, eCommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its more than 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands American Eagle™, Airwalk®, Dexter®, Champion® and designer collections Abaeté for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and alice + olivia for Payless, among others; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider®, Robeez®, and Saucony®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.

Contact Information

  • Media:
    Mardi Larson
    612.928.0202