The company filed for Chapter 11 protection in February 2019 and closed all its U.S. doors. The company has emerged from bankruptcy with an existing global retail footprint spanning Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In these combined territories, Payless and its franchisees own and operate over 710 brick & mortar doors in over thirty countries.
The new team is led by CEO Jared Margolis, who previously served as president of CAA-GBG, the licensing agency, and a joint venture between accessories, footwear and apparel firm Global Brands Group, and Creative Artists Agency, the 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, e-commerce, catalog and wholesale distribution as well as manufacturing.
“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 Margolis.
The company will advance its mission of delivering footwear for families at a value price-point.
“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,” affirmed Margolis.
“We look forward to continuing our success in the Latin American market,” said 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.”