Will Payless ShoeSource Make a Comeback?

By Ian Ritter

Topeka-based Payless ShoeSource has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and management is geared up for a comeback.

In some ways, the retailer, which closed all of its 2,300 North American stores last year, never really went away. It operates 420 stores in Latin America and the Virgin Islands and franchisors run 290 locations in other parts of the world. Management said it sold 25 million pairs of shoes in its locales last year.

“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,” said Jared Margolis, the company’s new chief executive officer, in a press release. He comes from New York City-based global licensing firm CCA-CBG. 

Payless has a new strategy planned for 2020 that involves “considering new technologies to streamline and optimize the customer experience” throughout all distribution channels across the globe. The company did not say if part of that plan is to again open stores in the United States.