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My Eyelab to open branch on old Payless site
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About two years after the Payless ShoeSource store closed on Northside Drive, My Eyelab is preparing to open a branch on the same site.


Located between Wing Maxx and Checkers, interior and exterior renovations began at the site last month and, according to the My Eyelab website, the Statesboro branch is scheduled to open April 5. Two signs hanging out front Monday said “Opening Soon” and “Now Hiring.”


Founded in 2013 in Jacksonville, Fla., My Eyelab is a retail chain that focuses on eye exams and eyewear for men, women and children. According to their web site, the new Statesboro store will be about 2,600 square feet and employ up to 10 people.


My Eyelab, which has more than 105 locations around the nation, specializes in telehealth and, according to its web site, has performed more than 1.3 million telehealth exams.


Now Optics, which is the parent company of My Eyelab, said it believes business projections “look promising for My Eyelab in 2021,” with early estimates showing 50 new franchise locations and 25 new corporate locations to debut in 2021.


Payless had operated a retail store at that location in Statesboro for more than a decade, and, at one point, the franchise operated more than 4,400 stores in 30 countries.


The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and after emerging from bankruptcy in August 2017, it decided to close all its stores in February 2018.


Following a liquidation sale, the Statesboro Payless closed for good in March 2018. The store had been vacant ever since.


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