Payless discount footwear retailer, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2019 then went on to close its 2,500 stores and e-commerce operations in North America, is back in business. The company has changed its name—dropping "Shoesource" from its brand name—and launched a new e-commerce platform.
As part of its new strategy, the retailer says it will open 300 to 500 freestanding stores across North America over the next five years, beginning with a prototype to launch in late fall in Miami, which is also home to the brand’s new headquarters. Reports say the company intends to open 30 to 45 stores in the region by the end of next year.
Payless’ new strategy is being led by CEO Jared Margolis, who heads up the company’s new management team. He previously served as president of CAA-GBG, the largest licensing agency in the world and a joint venture between Global Brands Group and Creative Artists Agency.
"We saw an opportunity for the brand to relaunch into the US market, providing our community with the affordable, value-driven products they've always searched for, now across multiple categories, at a time when value couldn't be more critical,” said Margolis. “Payless is for everyone, and now more than ever, the world needs to pay-less. We are so excited to bring Payless back to you, so you and future generations to come can lead the way forward."
The new Payless stores will be designed to offer a seamless customer experience, with in-store touchpoints that merge design with onsite digital components, including smart mirrors and touchscreen wall panels, the retailer said. The stores will also feature a “first-of-its-kind” augmented reality foot comparison chart that will allow shoppers to measure their shoe size with their phone, to assist with both in-store and online purchasing.
“Payless' new brick-and-click stores will not only have an updated design, look and feel, but also reinvent the way we shop,” the company stated.
The new stores will be in addition to the brand's existing 700 international stores, which consist of 298 franchise and 412 Latin and Central America locations. (Payless international stores were not affected by the company’s bankruptcy filing.)