The great pop-up shop party has another attendee. According to reports, Payless has opened up its first pop-up shop in New York City, located between Times Square and Bryant Park. And New York is just the starting point — Payless is all-in on pop-ups this season, with locations planned for Whittier, California; Alpharetta, Georgia; Paramus, New Jersey; Limerick, Pennsylvania; Clarksburg, Maryland; Hagerstown, Maryland; Hickory, North Carolina; and El Paso, Texas.
Say what you will for Payless, with eight shops running at once, it is clearly not into doing this by half-measures.
The locations will offer shoes, naturally, as well as a collection of handbags and accessories throughout the holiday shopping season. The pop-up shops will feature “a more modern look and feel than traditional Payless brick-and-mortar stores,” the company said.
The last few years have been tough on Payless: the shoe retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2017, which led to the closure of 800 stores and CEO W. Paul Jones stepping down. The retailer was, however, able to exit bankruptcy still open for business, an accomplishment in the current retail environment.
Opening pop-ups during the busiest shopping season of the year could have the net salutary effect of making up for its significantly diminished physical store footprint nationwide, as well as give the company a toehold (pardon the pun) in New York City, one of the nation’s top retail shopping destinations.
This is likely why so many brands favor New York for their first retail or pop-up location, according to real estate firm JLL. Over half (59.5 percent) of eTailers opened their first pop-up locations in New York. L.A. followed in second place rather distantly at 16.2 percent, with Toronto coming in third at 5.4 percent, according to JLL. The trend holds for permanent retail locations, with 41.3 percent of retailers opening their first permanent stores in New York, followed by Los Angeles and San Francisco at 12 percent each and Chicago at 5.3 percent.