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Remember Payless? Shoe seller is back and opening its first US store in November

Business

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(CNN) — After filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time and shutting all of its 2,100 stores in the US last year, discount shoe chain Payless is attempting a comeback.

The retailer said it’s planning to open 300 to 400 standalone stores nationwide in the next three to five years. The company, which sells sneakers, boots and dress shoes at prices as low as around $10 a pair, thinks it’s a good time to attract budget conscious shoppers.

“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,” Jared Margolis, the company’s CEO, said in a press release. “We saw an opportunity for the brand to relaunch into the US market… at a time when value couldn’t be more critical.”

The discount shoe retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2019, less than two years after it emerged from its previous bankruptcy. The company was plagued with too much debt and too many stores. It was also unprepared for the shift to online shopping.

So it closed its stores in the United States and Canada and laid off 16,000 employees. The company said at the time that it would keep open stores outside North America.

In January, the company said it had emerged from bankruptcy protection and appointed a new management team, including Margolis.

The first Payless store is slated to open in November in Miami, where its new headquarters are located. Payless said it plans to have 30 to 45 stores open in early 2021 in Texas and other border states.

Those stores will open in addition to its existing fleet of 700 international stores, including franchised locations. Payless said its new US stores will have an “updated” look, such as smart mirrors, touchscreen wall panels and AR-powered foot comparison charts.

Payless said its website will reopen for business on Tuesday. It’ll feature a mix of clothing, accessories and footwear from its private label brands and new brands its adding to the portfolio, like Kendall + Kylie and Aerosoles.

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