NexCen Increases International Franchises

NEW YORK — NexCen Brands Inc. announced Friday a notable international expansion of its franchised stores.

The New York-based firm said 43 franchises had been opened so far this year outside the U.S., 21 of which are the retail division’s The Athlete’s Foot or Shoebox New York stores.

Additional agreements to open a minimum of 160 more stores in eight countries have already been made. The Athlete’s Foot is set to open 10 stores in Angola over 10 years and three in Botswana and Namibia over the same period. Shoebox New York will expand to a minimum of 20 stores in South Korea over 25 years and two in Vietnam over 15 years. The first Shoebox New York store in Vietnam is scheduled to debut in Hanoi this December.

Chris Dull, president of NexCen franchise management, the franchising subsidiary of NexCen Brands, said in a statement that the international deals have increased significantly since the first quarter 2008 announcement of plans to open 10 The Athlete’s Foot stores in Sweden over 10 years. “We believe that by focusing on the franchising business as the core business of the company, we are able to better support our franchise brands and capitalize on their significant growth potential,” added Dull.

On Friday, NexCen shares closed up 7 percent at nearly 10 cents.

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