Payless Relaunches in North America After Closing Over 2,000 US Stores and Filing for Bankruptcy


Payless also launched an initiative called "Powered by Payless" to help parents, students and teachers navigate the upcoming school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the program, Payless will partner with schools across the country to provide technology, lunches and shoes necessary for new at-home classes to those in need.

In January, Payless announced that a new management team — lead by new CEO Jared Margolis  — would attempt to reintroduce the affordable shoe retailer to US markets after filing for bankruptcy twice.

Margolis (the former president of a licensing agency called CAA-GBG) said in a statement: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead this iconic retail brand into a new strategic phase with a strengthened balance sheet and clean financial outlook.”

“We intend to leverage Payless’ existing infrastructure, which is best in class and already includes product design and development, distribution, marketing, and a strong relationship with major footwear manufacturers,” the statement read. “Thus, providing the new Payless with the ability to be nimble, innovative, and to fast-track our biggest growth opportunity: The United States.”

He continued: “We will implement a new comprehensive strategic plan to strengthen our relationship with our vendors and suppliers, support our global franchise partners and deepen the trust of our customers.”

In 2019, Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, shutting all 2,100 US stores and leaving 16,000 people unemployed.

“Payless will begin liquidation sales at its U.S. and Puerto Rico stores on February 17, 2019, and is winding down its e-commerce operations,” a Payless spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business at the time, adding that “this process does not affect the Company’s franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual.”

The shoe retailer, which was founded in 1956, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2017, according to CNN Business. The outlet went on to report that at the time that the company closed around 400 of its stores.

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