Payless ShoeSource has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time, according to CNBC. The retailer shut down its e-Commerce operations and all 2,100 company-owned U.S. stores after it filed for bankruptcy in February 2019, but the liquidation did not affect franchised or international stores.
Payless has appointed a new executive management team and later this year will unveil its strategy to turn the business around and grow in the U.S. Payless still operates in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but CEO Jared Margolis maintains that the company’s “biggest growth opportunity” is still within the U.S.
“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,” said Margolis in a statement.
Latin America currently represents the retailer’s largest business unit. The business in that region will be led by Justo Fuentes, former President of Latin America for BATA, a multinational footwear and fashion accessory retailer. Fuentes plans to collaborate with high-profile individuals as part of Payless’ comeback.
“This plan will include a strong digital component to allow an omnichannel approach to the Latin market, as well as several product strategies that will allow Latin consumers to continue seeing Payless as their primary source of high-quality, value-priced family footwear,” said Fuentes in a statement.
The retailer’s international presence gives it a base for its return to the U.S.: Payless still has more than 710 stores, including franchised locations, in more than 30 countries. The international business sold approximately 25 million pairs of shoes in the past year and it maintains a database of 11 million people who have made purchases during this time.