Payless last week opened its first holiday pop-up store in New York City, between Times Square and Bryant Park, where it also offered snacks for Black Friday weekend shoppers, according to a company press release.
Along with New York, the company opened eight other pop-up locations in the following cities: Whittier, California; Alpharetta, Georgia; Paramus, New Jersey; Limerick, Pennsylvania; Clarksburg, Maryland; Hagerstown, Maryland; Hickory, North Carolina; and El Paso, Texas
Many of the temporary locations — which will offer a selection of shoes, handbags and accessories throughout the holiday season — opened in large industrial spaces with "a more modern look and feel than traditional Payless brick-and-mortar stores," the company said.
Payless is among the more than 15% of major retailers acquired by private equity firms since 2002 that have filed for Chapter 11. The shoe retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2017, and later announced the closure of some 800 stores. CEO W. Paul Jones stepped down in August of that year as the retailer exited bankruptcy.
Temporary pop-ups could help Payless make up for a significant loss in its brick-and-mortar footprint, and make a splash in one of the country's most shopped retail corridors — New York City. The city has become the top destination for both pop-ups and online brands' first permanent locations, according to research from from commercial real estate firm JLL.
More than half (59.5%) of the e-retailers studied opened their first pop-ups locations in New York, followed by Los Angeles (16.2%) and Toronto (5.4%), JLL found. More than a third (41.3%) opened their first permanent location in New York, followed by Los Angeles and San Francisco (12% each), and Chicago (5.3%).