After closing all US-based retail stores in 2019, Payless is planning a comeback with more than 300 retail stores.
Payless is sporting a refreshed website and promoting its own comeback stating, "Payless is back." Shoppers are invited to take a peek behind the scenes in a video (click and then scroll down to watch) showcasing the fun and excitement surrounding a photoshoot of the latest styles. Payless closes the video with a callout to its customers, "You lead the way." So what does this expected comeback entail?
According to a press release from August 18, Payless plans to open 300-500 stores in North America over the next five years. The first store, a prototype, will launch in Miami, FL, also the new location of the company's headquarters. Payless is attempting to reinvent the shopping experience with smart mirrors, touchscreen wall panels, and a first-of-its-kind Augmented Reality foot comparison chart.
The press release also mentioned the addition of the "Powered by Payless" initiative. The initiative addresses Payless' core belief of value to life. Especially in these times of remote learning, some students and adults lack access to technology and meal services. Payless sees its responsibility to address this need and is already partnering with schools across multiple states to provide students, teachers, and families with access to technology and meals as they begin a new school year. The best part (and one so fitting for this shoe retailer) is that students and adults are also provided with a pair of new shoes to remain active in style.
"We are in truly unpreceded times, and it's undeniable that this year's back-to-school season will be unlike any other," said Jared Margolis, CEO of Payless. "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. 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."
As the world is navigating the roller coaster impact of the current pandemic, retailers like Payless are not immune. Formerly known as Payless ShoeSource, Payless has had its share of ups and downs in the retail world.
Founded in 1956 as Pay-Less National, Payless has consistently provided budget-friendly footware for the entire family. Accelerated growth in the late 1900s led to a significant decline due to competitors and big-name stores. Payless ShoeSource filed for bankrupcies in 2017 and 2019 and closed all 2,300 stores in 2019. Following such a drastic shift for this global retailer, Payless ShoeSource attempted a comeback in January 2020. Due to the global pandemic, this attempted comeback just couldn't gain traction.
This retailer boasts of its extensive global network spanning over 30 countries worldwide. Payless has more than 700 brick-and-mortar stores in Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, Middle East, North Africa, and South America.
Plans continue for opening stores in United States in the future. Until then, consumers can browse the new Ecommerce platform for just the right look from dress shoes to boots and from athletic shoes to styles for kids. Payless offers Private Label brands including: Aerosoles, AirWalk, American Eagle, K-Swiss, and others. Added accessories such as handbags, socks, sunglasses, and jewelry are great impulse buys to complete the look. For those struggling to purchase shoes online, click "Find Your Fit" to download a printable foot sizing chart (separate charts for men, women, and kids).