Athlete’s Foot Group Inc.’s June 8 agreement to open a franchise in Poland is the most recent in a series over the past month including agreements with franchisees in China, Italy and Ecuador.

      These contracts, Pierre Serralta, CEO of the Atlanta-based footwear retailer, told GlobalFax last week, provide the master franchisees with exclusive rights for opening new stores in their countries.

      For instance, he said that in China four of the new stores would open in Shanghai, but that an aggressive expansion of 36 new stores in seven surrounding provinces already has been planned for 1999 and 2000.

      The new franchisees also are planning to open new stores, he added. Poland is expected to have 20 stores and Italy 39 stores by the end of 2004.  Ten stores are to be opened in Ecuador in the next five years.

      Meanwhile, Mr. Serralta is seeking new master franchisees in Latin America.  We are now awaiting the signing of a master franchisee in Argentina, he said.  And our next focus will be on signing new franchisees in Brazil and Chile.

      Athlete’s Foot signed an agreement with Marubeni ShoeWeb Corp. for Japan last year and has stores in more than 30 countries.

      The company’s Internet site is at For more information, call Russ Smith at (770) 514-4721.