Collective Brands Inc plans to expand Payless ShoeSource into nine Middle East countries with franchise partner M.H. Alshaya, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. The company will be franchising its stores for the first time.

“Consumers in the Middle East want the latest fashions and women, in particular, enjoy expressing themselves through shoes and accessories,” the Journal quoted Collective Brands Chief Executive Matthew Rubel as saying.

M.H. Alshaya Co is the international franchise operator for such brands as Starbucks, The Body Shop and H&M.