Payless Sets For a Restart, Sees Opportunity Amid Pandemic

Before the pandemic hit, Payless, the iconic off-price shoe retailer, had filed for bankruptcy protection twice. In last year’s bankruptcy, it was forced to close all of their over 2,000 American stores. But earlier this year, it announced its resurgence from bankruptcy with new leadership. Now, they are even set for a relaunch.


Former CAA-CBG head Jared Margolis was assigned in January to be the new CEO for Payless. He said: “We’ve reinvented ourselves, harnessing the best from the ‘brick-and-click’ model so everyone, everywhere can shop our stylish and affordable offerings whether online or in-stores.”

Their first brick-and-mortar store under the newly formed Payless will be located in Miami, to open in November. It also plans to expand with 300-400 standalone stores across the country in a matter of 3-5 years. By early 2021, the retailer intends to establish 30-45 stores in border states like Texas, where the CEO sees a “strong 100-store footprint.”

Their brand new stores will offer shoppers a new look, according to the company. For instance, there will be touchscreen mirrors and AR-powered foot comparison charts. This week will also see the relaunch of their online shop. To add to their portfolio are new brands like Kendall + Kylie and Aerosoles.

For People Wanting to ‘Pay Less’

For Payless, this time is an opportunity for them to resume. “We are fully aware that we’re launching in a time when many have lost their jobs, finances are tight, and parents nationwide are adjusting to working from home, facilitating at-home schooling for their children,” Margolis said in a press release.

After filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time and shutting all of its 2,100 stores in the US last year, discount shoe chain Payless is attempting a comeback

Posted by CNN Business on Monday, August 17, 2020

Past mishaps

The international retailer, known for its discounted footwear, succumbed into two bankruptcy protection filings before, the latest in 2019. Payless accumulated too much debt, per CNN Business. And they had also opened too many stores, which is something they will address in their business overhaul. Its online store was also caught off guard. 16,000 workers were displaced when it shut operations in North America.

The chief exec added, “We have all the learnings of what didn’t work and now we have a blank canvas.”

Phillip Malone

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