Pizza Hut and Payless announce changes amid COVID-19 economic crisis

DORAL, FL – Pizza Hut and Payless shoes are the following in line amid the thousands U.S. corporations that have changed their operations and strategies to survive the pandemic

Some of them have decided to let go a significant portion of their employees, close most of their locations if not all of them, while others have reinvented themselves to offer new products and services to a disperse clientele that is also struggling to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, Pizza Hut is now among the first group of corporations after announcing it will close permanently up to 300 restaurants following the bankruptcy of one the chain’s largest franchisees, NPC International.

It was revealed at the beginning of the week that the locations scheduled to close are not performing well enough compared with the rest of NPC’s Pizza Hut locations even after changing their way of working by closing dining rooms and offering instead pick-up orders. 

NPC International reached an agreement this week with Pizza Hut’s owner Yum! Brands to close around a quarter of its restaurants and sell the remaining locations. It should be noted that NPC filed for Chapter 11 in July. 

According to Channel 7 News Miami, a media release explained the agreement provides NPC with “flexibility to explore options for achieving a value maximizing outcome as it seeks to finalize the terms of a comprehensive financial restructuring and emerge from Chapter 11.”

The new scenario was fueled by coronavirus-related shutdowns, a debt burden of nearly $1 billion and rising labor and food costs.

Payless shoes, on the other hand, is bringing good news amid the coronavirus crisis after surviving two bankruptcies, one of which happened between 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the discount shoe retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time forced to shut down all of its 2,100 stores in the US. 

Now, the company is planning to make a comeback and has chosen Miami to do so. The retailer announced it will open 300 to 400 standalone stores nationwide in the next three to five years, and the first store is opening up in Miami in November, where its new headquarters are located.

But the retailer’s style won’t be the same we know, since the new US stores will have an “updated” look, such as smart mirrors, touchscreen wall panels and AR-powered foot comparison charts.

“We are fully aware that we’re relaunching in a time when many have lost their jobs, finances are tight, and parents nationwide are adjusting to working from home, facilitating at-home schooling for their children,” Jared Margolis, the company’s CEO, said in a press release. “We saw an opportunity for the brand to relaunch into the US market… at a time when value couldn’t be more critical.”

Payless also announced its website will reopen for business this week featuring a mix of clothing, accessories and footwear from its private label brands and new brands its adding to the portfolio, like Kendall + Kylie and Aerosoles.

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