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Payless ShoeSource emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Payless ShoeSource has emerged from bankruptcy for the second time, this time with a focus on e-commerce in the U.S. and stores in international markets. The discount shoe retailer shuttered its 2,000-plus North American stores last year after the latest bankruptcy filing.

The Topeka, Kansas-based company said Thursday it wants to reinvigorate its largest business unit, in Latin America. It will also relaunch its U.S. e-commerce site and open some stores in the U.S., but did not offer specific details.

Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2019, which followed an earlier Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in April 2017. After the bankruptcy filing last year, Payless' chief restructuring officer said that the 2017 bankruptcy had left the company with too much debt and too many stores.

Retailers expected to shutter 12,000 stores this year

The 2019 bankruptcy filing didn't affect its 710 franchises or stores in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Payless also said it has appointed a new executive management team, tapping Jared Margolis as its new CEO. Margolis had previous worked as president of CAA-GBG, which Payless said is the largest licensing agency in the world.

In a statement, Margolis said the company wants to reinvigorate the brand and will continue to produce affordable shoes for children and adults. He added the company will "fast-track our biggest growth opportunity: The United States," although the statement didn't provide details.

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