First it was McDonalds. Then came ToysRUs, Office Depot FOX and a host of others. Now Payless Shoes has discovered Israel. The American chain intends to step into Israel and open 15 stores in Israel in the next 18 months and another 45 by 2015, focusing on urban malls. Be’er Sheva and Yerushalayim will be among the first cities where Israelis can try on Payless discount shoes, generally aimed at the low-to-middle priced market.
Prices are expected to range from 5-50 dollars. The Israeli franchise for Payless was bought by the Sakal group.
The growing presence of American and other foreign companies in Israel indicates confidence in Israel, whose economy has been one of the world’s most stable in the past few years. Israel’s ability to continue a modest growth rate in the wake of the American financial crisis and current sluggish economic growth has spurred companies in the United States to find other markets for growth.