Collective Brands is planning to take its Stride Rite children's footwear brand to China and South East Asia after agreeing a licensing deal with Li & Fung Retailing.

The agreement, which will be managed by LiFung Children Holdings Ltd - and new unit of Li & Fung Retailing - will see the opening of stand-alone retail stores, shop-in-shops and ecommerce sales in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

This is the first time Collective Brands has taken any of its retail concepts or brands to the mainland China market.  

"We look forward to bringing shoppers across the region our range of products that deliver the 'rite' technology for children combining style and quality, as well as a store format dedicated to properly fitting the child and servicing parents and grandparents," said Sharon John, president, Stride Rite Children's Group.

Initial plans include opening retail outlets in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia in December 2010 closely followed by stores in China in 2011. All stores will feature the proprietary STEP - Scientifically Tested Everyday Proven - program, which is designed to help parents select the right shoes to support a child's growth and development.

Li & Fung Retailing is a member of the Li & Fung Group, but its retailing businesses are not related to the publicly listed Li & Fung Limited. Its interests include luxury men's wear retailer Trinity Limited and Toys"R"Us in Greater China and South East Asia.