TOPEKA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Payless ShoeSource announces it has emerged from Voluntary Chapter 11 Protection, which was filed in February 2019. The iconic retailer has appointed a new executive management team and is poised to unveil its new strategy in 2020. The new team is led by CEO Jared Margolis, who previously served as President of CAA-GBG, the largest licensing agency in the world, and a joint venture between accessories, footwear and apparel powerhouse Global Brands Group, and Creative Artists Agency, a leading entertainment and sports agency. Payless Latin America, the Company’s largest current business unit, will be led by Justo Fuentes, as LATAM CEO. Fuentes previously served as President of BATA Latin America, where he supervised in the region the operation of over 1,000 retail stores, ecommerce, catalogue and wholesale distribution as well as manufacturing.
The Company has emerged from bankruptcy with an existing global retail footprint spanning Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In these territories, combined, Payless and its franchisees own and operate over 710 brick and mortar doors in over thirty countries.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead this iconic retail brand into a new strategic phase with a strengthened balance sheet and clean financial outlook. 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. The Payless brand stands for design, quality and value, and we plan to reinvigorate that proposition for our customers all over the world,” according to Payless’ new Chief Executive Officer, Jared Margolis.
The company will advance its trusted mission of delivering high-quality, stylish, and comfortable footwear for the entire family, at a value price-point. Furthermore, the Payless Brand plans to collaborate with high-profile individuals and brands to ensure exclusive product offerings at a compelling price-point for its loyal base. Payless is in the process of considering new technologies to streamline and optimize the customer experience. This approach will apply across all distribution channels, worldwide.
“We intend to leverage Payless’ existing infrastructure, which is best in class and already includes product design & development, distribution, marketing, and a strong relationship with major footwear manufacturers. Thus, providing the new Payless with the ability to be nimble, innovative, and to fast-track our biggest growth opportunity: The United States,” affirms Margolis.
“We look forward to continuing our success in the Latin American market,” says Justo Fuentes. “In the past year, we have implemented many new strategies to increase our market share and in-store footprint in the region, and in 2020 we are going to build upon this even further. 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.”
The current international Payless footprint sold approximately twenty-five million pairs of shoes over the past twelve months. Moreover, Payless’ database is robust and active, consisting of eleven million customers who have purchased products in the past year. Accordingly, Payless intends to institute an omni-channel distribution channel strategy targeting both, new and existing markets.
Founded in 1956, Payless serves millions of customers through its extensive global network of retail stores spanning thirty-five countries. Payless currently maintains four-hundred twenty stores in Latin America and the US Virgin Islands, plus two-hundred ninety franchisee stores in the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Africa.