Payless ShoeSource Emerges From Second Bankruptcy

Payless ShoeSource has announced that it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time. Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February of last year, shuttering more than 2,000 stores in North America by the end of June. Prior to that, the company filed for Chapter 11 in 2017 and closed nearly 700 stores.

The 62-year-old Topeka, Kansas-based company has appointed a new executive team. The team will be led by new CEO Jared Margolis, former president of the licensing agency CAA-CBG. The company has also hired Justo Fuentes, former president of BATA Latin America, to serve as the new head for Payless’ Latin American business unit.

The company is now planning to open some physical stores in the U.S. and relaunch its U.S. e-commerce site. Specific details, including a timeline, were not available. The company also wants to reinvigorate its largest business unit, Latin America. The latest bankruptcy filing didn’t affect its more than 710 franchises or stores in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Payless sold about 25 million pairs of shoes in the past 12 months internationally.

For 2020, the company has a new strategy that involves collaborating with “high-profile individuals and brands to ensure exclusive product offerings at a compelling price-point for its loyal base.” The company is also considering new technologies that are meant to streamline the customer experience. Margolis said in a statement, “We intend to leverage Payless’ existing infrastructure, which is best in class and already includes product design, development, distribution, marketing, and a strong relationship with major footwear manufacturers. Thus, providing the new Payless with the ability to be nimble, innovative, and to fast-track our biggest growth opportunity: the United States.”