Going Metro

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By Thomas Sellers Jr.

The old Payless ShoeSource in Millington located at 8043 Highway 51 North in front of Kroger is getting a makeover.

Gone are the old brown, yellow and orange signage and welcome in the Metro by T Mobile purple and pink. Last week, crews continued the transformation of the structure with a new sign high above Highway 51.

Back in 2017, Payless ShoeSource announced it was going out of business. In 2019, the company closed 665 stores across the nation including the one in Flag City. The Topeka, Kansas-based discount shoe retailer shut down approximately 2,300-plus U.S. and Canada stores by the summer of 2019. Meanwhile the former MetroPCS is gaining locations across the United States. Metro was established in 1994 as General Wireless, Inc., by Roger D. Linquist and Malcolm Lorang. Its service launched in 2002. About 10 years later, the company, known then as MetroPCS, reached an agreement to merge with T-Mobile USA.

On September 24, 2018, T-Mobile announced that it would relaunch the brand as Metro by T-Mobile, introducing new unlimited plans offering bundled features such as Amazon Prime subscriptions and Google One storage, and announcing that the brand aims to be the first prepaid mobile carrier to offer 5G in 2019.

At the time of the name change, T-Mobile’s subscriber number had increased to around 75 million and Metro’s had doubled to around 18 million users and had increased their nationwide market reach from around 12 to 100 markets.