Thu | Apr 25, 2019

Payless Jamaica says untouched by US lockdown - To explore online shopping options

Published:Thursday | February 21, 2019 | 12:13 AM
Shoppers leave the Payless Shoesource store in Tropical Plaza on Constant Spring Road, St Andrew, on Saturday. Payless recently announced plans to shutter more than 2,100 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Amid plans by the low-price retail giants Payless to close 2,100 stores in the United States, Caribbean stakeholders have moved to quell fears about the fate of stores in Jamaica and the region.

In a release yesterday, North America communications officer Lauren Jeffords said Payless was planning to open new stores in 2019 and was also exploring online shopping.

The release, dated February 19, said that the company was reaffirming its commitment to continued growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We are proud of our accomplishments in Latin America and the Caribbean, including our leading market share and strong store footprint,” Mario Zarazua, the chief financial officer for Payless, was quoted as saying.

“We look forward to building upon our success in these regions by adding new stores and a broader online reach. While Payless’ North American stores have faced difficulty due to a challenging retail environment, our thriving businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean have considerable profitable growth potential and remain an integral part of our long-term strategy,” he said.

According to the release, the company plans to expand its presence in the Caribbean and Latin America, with new stores for 2019 to add to the 420 stores across 20 countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Jamaica has 15 stores across eight parishes.

Payless opened 19 stores in eight countries in 2018 and plans to open additional stores in countries where it already has a presence. Payless also launched e-commerce in Costa Rica and Colombia in 2018 and is exploring additional markets to bring online.

The shoe retailer said that the filing for bankruptcy in North America would not affect the Latin American or Caribbean franchises.

Payless voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, and certain Canadian subsidiaries are also seeking bankruptcy protection.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com