Payless ShoeSource will soon find out if customers have the same passion for lipstick and body sprays as they do for shoes and accessories.

This story first appeared in the March 8, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The footwear and accessories mammoth, with 4,500 stores, is gearing up to launch a beauty component to the business this fall through an alliance with Maesa Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the firm called it a “multiyear arrangement.”

Payless Stores, with 1,500 units, will introduce, starting Sept. 1, bath and body products under the names Zoe & Zac and Unforgettable Moments, linking back to proprietary shoe and accessory brands of the same names.

“Payless is really all about inspiring possibilities in fashion in footwear and accessories,” said LuAnn Via, chief executive officer of Payless, which is owned by Collective Brands. “We’ve had a lot of progress expanding our accessories line with handbags, sunglasses and hats [in 2009]. We feel that this is a product that our customers would appreciate as well.”

Beauty products will include a collection of up to 60 items such as lotions, creams, fragrances and color for eyes, lips and nails. Prices will range from $2.99 to $19.99.

Via said the beauty lines are geared to please women of all demographics. Payless traditionally targets mothers and daughters. It has not been decided if the firm’s designer collaborators in shoes and accessories such as Alice & Olivia, Christian Siriano and Lela Rose would take part in the new category.

While Via declined to offer sales projections, she expects the new initiative to be “a significant business” for the firm and that beauty will eventually be rolled out to the remaining 3,000 stores.

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