Payless relocates headquarters to Miami from Topeka, Kansas
Published Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Footwear chain Payless plans to make a comeback in the Magic City.

As part of a relaunch, the company relocated its Topeka, Kansas headquarters to Miami's Edgewater neighborhood at 3050 Biscayne Blvd. Payless will open a new store concept elsewhere in Miami in November, CEO Jared Margolis said.

Payless, which dropped ShoeSource from its name, is putting more emphasis on its e-commerce platform in the relaunch. Margolis said he anticipates between 30% and 40% of all sales will come from online orders.

The company plans to move forward with brick-and-mortar locations, too.

The first prototype store will open in Miami and feature a floor plan that will promote social distancing, Margolis said. They will also take advantage of new self-service features to cut back on the amount of staff needed to run each store. He added the company hopes to have between 30 and 45 stores open in the Southern U.S. by 2021. Margolis said the goal is to open between 300 and 500 Payless stores over the next five years.

"We have a blank canvas and historical learnings to look back on, which position us for success," he said.

Once a thriving chain, the company shuttered thousands of stores across the U.S. as it failed to compete with e-commerce newcomers. Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection In 2019 — the second time in three years — and closed its remaining 2,100 U.S. stores.

Payless has been extinct in the U.S. for the last year, but the brand still has 700 existing international stores.

Prior to joining Payless, Margolis was the president at CAA-GBG, a brand management company and joint venture involving Hong Kong-based apparel and footwear company Global Brands Group. He spearheaded the joint venture, and prior to that, he was executive VP for business development and licensing at Global Brands Group.

"Everyone I talk to remembers shopping at Payless when they were a kid, but Payless never did a great job of educating consumers about its products," he said. "I come from a marketing background, [and I] plan to do a much better job of building the brand and storytelling for an immersive experience for our community."

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