Footwear Retailer Opts to Accelerate New Leases With PriceSmart; PriceSmart Members Embrace Added Value Discount

Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from PriceSmart, Inc.

    SAN DIEGO, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- PriceSmart, Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT)
 (www.pricesmart.com) has approved the accelerated plans of Payless ShoeSource,
 Inc. (NYSE:   PSS) to open and operate ten Payless ShoeSource stores adjacent to
 PriceSmart locations throughout Central America and the Caribbean.
     "The family footwear retailer's decision to implement an aggressive
 opening schedule comes on the heels of our members' overwhelming response to
 the added value they receive from the Payless ShoeSource at PriceSmart's
 warehouse in Zapote, Costa Rica, which opened last December," said K.C. Breen,
 PriceSmart Executive Vice President for Operations.
     The Master Agreement between the two Companies signed in November
 characterized the first location as a "Test Store."  Based on the store's
 performance, Payless ShoeSource would determine whether to go forward with any
 additional locations, and if so, open such stores by late 2001.  Now, instead,
 some openings of the new locations will begin as early as this month with the
 expectation that all ten will be completed and opened by August.
     Payless ShoeSource has now notified PriceSmart that it intends to open at
 PriceSmart locations under the following accelerated schedule: in Costa Rica
 (2 additional stores to open in April), in El Salvador (2 stores in May), in
 Guatemala and in El Salvador (1 store in each country this June), and in the
 Dominican Republic and in Trinidad (1 store in each country by late summer).
     "We are extremely pleased with the results of this alliance.  Our position
 in the market is strengthened by these additional leases," said Brud Drachman,
 PriceSmart's Senior Vice President for Real Estate and Construction.
 "Moreover, a majority of our membership base will now have access to and
 benefit from the value-added 10% discount they will receive at Payless
 ShoeSource locations throughout the region."
     PriceSmart now operates 18 membership-shopping warehouses in the Central
 American and Caribbean region: Panama (4), Costa Rica (3), Dominican Republic
 (3), Guatemala (2), El Salvador (2), Honduras (2), Trinidad & Tobago (1), and
 Aruba (1).  The Company plans to open three additional stores within the next
 two months, specifically, PriceSmart's first stores in, U.S. Virgin Islands
 (St. Thomas), and the Philippines and the Company's third store in Guatemala.
 PriceSmart also licenses five warehouses in China and one warehouse in Saipan,
 Micronesia.  As of the end of the second quarter, PriceSmart membership
 accounts in the Central American and Caribbean region totaled approximately
 450,000, representing approximately 775,000 shoppers.
 
     PriceSmart, headquartered in San Diego, is a volume-driven merchandise and
 services provider, delivering quality, value and low prices to the rapidly
 emerging consumer class in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
 risks and uncertainties that might cause actual results to differ from those
 foreseen, including the following risks: our financial performance is
 dependent on international operations; the success of our business requires
 effective assistance from local business people with whom we have established
 strategic relationships; any failure by us to manage our growth could
 adversely affect our business; we face significant competition; we may
 encounter difficulties in the shipment of goods to our warehouses; we are
 exposed to weather and other risks associated with our operations in Central
 America and the Caribbean; declines in the economies of the countries in which
 we operate our warehouse stores would harm our business; the loss of key
 personnel could harm our business; and we are subject to volatility in foreign
 currency exchange; as well as the other risks detailed in the Company's SEC
 reports, including the Company's Form 10-K filed pursuant to the Securities
 and Exchange Act of 1934 on November 29, 2000.
 
     For further information please contact:  Brud Drachman, Senior Vice
 President for Real Estate and Construction, 858-581-4948, or Ron deHarte,
 Senior Vice President, Marketing, 858-581-5356, both of PriceSmart, Inc.
 
 

SOURCE PriceSmart, Inc.
    SAN DIEGO, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- PriceSmart, Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT)
 (www.pricesmart.com) has approved the accelerated plans of Payless ShoeSource,
 Inc. (NYSE:   PSS) to open and operate ten Payless ShoeSource stores adjacent to
 PriceSmart locations throughout Central America and the Caribbean.
     "The family footwear retailer's decision to implement an aggressive
 opening schedule comes on the heels of our members' overwhelming response to
 the added value they receive from the Payless ShoeSource at PriceSmart's
 warehouse in Zapote, Costa Rica, which opened last December," said K.C. Breen,
 PriceSmart Executive Vice President for Operations.
     The Master Agreement between the two Companies signed in November
 characterized the first location as a "Test Store."  Based on the store's
 performance, Payless ShoeSource would determine whether to go forward with any
 additional locations, and if so, open such stores by late 2001.  Now, instead,
 some openings of the new locations will begin as early as this month with the
 expectation that all ten will be completed and opened by August.
     Payless ShoeSource has now notified PriceSmart that it intends to open at
 PriceSmart locations under the following accelerated schedule: in Costa Rica
 (2 additional stores to open in April), in El Salvador (2 stores in May), in
 Guatemala and in El Salvador (1 store in each country this June), and in the
 Dominican Republic and in Trinidad (1 store in each country by late summer).
     "We are extremely pleased with the results of this alliance.  Our position
 in the market is strengthened by these additional leases," said Brud Drachman,
 PriceSmart's Senior Vice President for Real Estate and Construction.
 "Moreover, a majority of our membership base will now have access to and
 benefit from the value-added 10% discount they will receive at Payless
 ShoeSource locations throughout the region."
     PriceSmart now operates 18 membership-shopping warehouses in the Central
 American and Caribbean region: Panama (4), Costa Rica (3), Dominican Republic
 (3), Guatemala (2), El Salvador (2), Honduras (2), Trinidad & Tobago (1), and
 Aruba (1).  The Company plans to open three additional stores within the next
 two months, specifically, PriceSmart's first stores in, U.S. Virgin Islands
 (St. Thomas), and the Philippines and the Company's third store in Guatemala.
 PriceSmart also licenses five warehouses in China and one warehouse in Saipan,
 Micronesia.  As of the end of the second quarter, PriceSmart membership
 accounts in the Central American and Caribbean region totaled approximately
 450,000, representing approximately 775,000 shoppers.
 
     PriceSmart, headquartered in San Diego, is a volume-driven merchandise and
 services provider, delivering quality, value and low prices to the rapidly
 emerging consumer class in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
 risks and uncertainties that might cause actual results to differ from those
 foreseen, including the following risks: our financial performance is
 dependent on international operations; the success of our business requires
 effective assistance from local business people with whom we have established
 strategic relationships; any failure by us to manage our growth could
 adversely affect our business; we face significant competition; we may
 encounter difficulties in the shipment of goods to our warehouses; we are
 exposed to weather and other risks associated with our operations in Central
 America and the Caribbean; declines in the economies of the countries in which
 we operate our warehouse stores would harm our business; the loss of key
 personnel could harm our business; and we are subject to volatility in foreign
 currency exchange; as well as the other risks detailed in the Company's SEC
 reports, including the Company's Form 10-K filed pursuant to the Securities
 and Exchange Act of 1934 on November 29, 2000.
 
     For further information please contact:  Brud Drachman, Senior Vice
 President for Real Estate and Construction, 858-581-4948, or Ron deHarte,
 Senior Vice President, Marketing, 858-581-5356, both of PriceSmart, Inc.
 
 SOURCE  PriceSmart, Inc.