Payless is set for its post-bankruptcy brick-and-mortar debut.
The retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 protection for a second time in 2019, is readying for the grand opening of its first physical store in North America — a “redesigned retail concept” in Miami — on March 1.
Next week, the company, which returned to the United States market last summer with the launch of its ecommerce site, will open the doors to the 4,000-square-foot 850 NE 125th Street store.
The outpost — which was initially slated for a November 2020 opening — will feature about 10,000 footwear, apparel and accessories at any given time, according to Payless, and is set in the “heart of North Miami,” which is also home to the brand’s new headquarters.
The tricked-out space, designed to play up the retailers heightened focus on omnichannel as well as its post-bankruptcy emphasis on Latinx consumers, will feature interactive touchscreen wall panels as well as “top of the line” augmented reality capabilities, available in both English and Spanish.
Among the store’s high-tech features, are an AR foot measurement chart and floor decal, comprising 16 individual 3D animated characters and 16 2D animal footprints, provided by AR platform Zappar.
Emphasizing its focus on the Hispanic community, Payless also commissioned local Latinx artist Amaranta Martinez, known as Superama, who designed a mural — “highlighting Miami’s vibrant community and the combination of cultures that makes it a beautiful, positive place to live” — on the exterior of the store.
“The traditional brick-and-mortar storefront isn’t going anywhere, but recent times have demanded the need for a new 360-degree immersive retail experience,” said Payless CEO Jared Margolis. “Our plan has always been to make a comeback for our U.S. consumers with brand new smart and strategic retail locations that are also in line with our omnichannel strategy.”
After Payless went bankrupt in 2019 — it had also filed bankruptcy for the first time in 2017 — it continued to operate 700 stores throughout Latin/Central America, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Middle East and India. Now, the company said the Payless Miami location is the first of a series of retail openings in the North American market.
“In fact, the brand is confidently moving forward with big plans to implement a unique omnichannel experience through our enhanced digital platform and stores in the next three to five years,” Payless noted in a statement.