After filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time and shutting all of its 2,100 stores in the U.S. in 2019, the footwear retailer announced it is relaunching into the North American market, with an immersive e-commerce platform and new brick-and-mortar retail concept stores. Formally dropping “Shoesource” from the brand name, Payless said it is making a comeback to offer “the same, unparalleled commitment to providing value to their community, now across a range of apparel, accessories, and footwear.”

“We are fully aware that we’re relaunching 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, all while serving the most important role as parent”, said Jared Margolis, CEO, Payless. “However, during this time we also know that kids all over the country are leading the way; through their imaginations, resilience, and determination. We’re excited and proud to be in a position to bring the Payless brand back to life to provide parents with the value they need, and kids with the styles they will love, in a way that acknowledges and celebrates every single one of our consumers”, said Margolis.

As part of its omni-channel rollout, Payless said its goal is to open 300 to 500 free standing stores across North America over the next five years, beginning with the launch of the first prototype store in Miami (FL), the new home and headquarters for the brand. The new store locations will be in addition to the brand’s existing 700 international stores; 298 Franchise and 412 Latin and Central America locations.

“Implementing a seamless customer experience with engaging in-store touchpoints that merge design with onsite digital components, including smart mirrors, touchscreen wall panels, and a first-of-its-kind Augmented Reality foot comparison chart, Payless’ new brick-and-click stores will not only have an updated design, look and feel, but also reinvent the way we shop”, says a company statement.

Founded in 1956, Payless filed for Chapter 11 protection in April 2017 and later said it was confident it had succeeded in restructuring its debt load, after eliminating in excess of US$435 million in funded debt. Read more here.