The Shoe Box is small chain of nine high-end women’s footwear stores located in Manhattan, Long Island and Florida, owned and run by Richard Kirschenbaum. Its new owners want to develop it into a larger chain of franchised upmarket stores, with locations all over the USA and in foreign cities, selling existing international brands alongside those sourced through the Camuto Group. According to a report, two-thirds of the stores may be located outside the USA.

Camuto is a group set up in 2001 by Vince Camuto, co-founder and former chief executive of Nine West. NexCen is a recently established operation, specializing in the development of brands and banners on a licensing or franchising basis, that already owns The Athlete’s Foot and Bill Blass, an American fashion house. Camuto, NexCen and Kirschenbaum will each own a stake of around 37 percent in The Shoe Box. They will all contribute their respective expertise to make the new retail project work.

Furthermore Camuto Group has taken on a 30-year license to develop and market Bill Blass branded women’s footwear. The company already sells Jessica Simpson and other footwear brands, and together with the Bill Blass line they will be features in Shoe Box stores. Kirschenbaum will act as a consultant, assisting in marketing the new franchising concept and educating the future franchisees in merchandising their products.

Shoe Box stores currently sell footwear under such well-known brand names as Chloé, Donald J. Pliner, Marc Jacobs and Stuart Weitzman.