TOPEKA, Kan., April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Payless ShoeSource, a business unit of Collective Brands, announced today Michele Bergerac has been named Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Payless' Women's and Accessories businesses, reporting to LuAnn Via, President and Chief Executive Officer for Payless.
In her role, Bergerac will be responsible for leading the Women's and Accessories merchandise buying teams and setting product strategies aimed to bring incredible value pricing for trend-right styles of footwear and accessories to the budget-conscious consumer. She will oversee product creation and merchandising for the Women's footwear and accessory collections, covering a range of categories including dress, sandals, casuals and boots for women, as well as accessories including handbags, socks and hosiery, scarves, jewelry and beauty and body products. In this role, Bergerac will partner with the Payless marketing and store operations teams to communicate the Payless brand message through on-trend merchandising and other messaging initiatives targeting specific customer segments.
"Michele has spent most of her career in the footwear industry working across Men's, Women's and Children's categories in both department and specialty stores," said Via. "We are thrilled to welcome her to the Payless team and look forward to her valuable contributions and strong leadership skills as we create strong seasonal product collections that address the shoe and accessory needs of our core customer."
Since 2009, Bergerac most recently served as Divisional Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager for Soft Home Goods at the Marmaxx division of TJX. Prior to TJX, Bergerac served as President, Chief Merchant for Bakers Footwear Group from 1999 to 2007, and from 1998 to 1999 she served as President for Edison Footwear Group. She served as Vice President, Women's, Men's and Children's Shoes for Foley's from 1991 to 1998. Prior to Foley's, she served as Vice President Divisional Merchandise Manager, Women's shoes at G.Fox from 1987 to 1991 and as a Buyer at May Company California from 1982 to 1987. Bergerac began her career in New York at Abraham & Straus, working her way up from the Executive Training Program to Buyer of Junior & Misses Shoes during 1977 to 1981. Bergerac earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University.
About Payless & Collective Brands, Inc.
Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to providing incredible value pricing for trend-right styles of footwear and accessories for the entire family to enjoy. Payless offers customers a range of well-recognized brands such as Dexter®, Airwalk®, Champion®, Above the Rim® and Smartfit®, as well as designer labels by Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi. As of the end of fiscal year 2011, Payless operated 4,160 stores throughout the Americas and an online store (http://www.payless.com/) and also has more than 140 franchised stores located primarily in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
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; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance 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®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, STRIKEFORCE(TM), Clinch Gear(TM), Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships(TM) and Hind®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at http://www.collectivebrands.com/.