Coverage: Payless ShoeSource is closing all of its 2,100 stores
Payless ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have closed down in the last year.
Anne D’Innocenzio of the Associated Press had the news:
The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. All of the stores will remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.
The debt-burdened chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017, closing hundreds of stores as part of its reorganization.
At the time, it had over 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries. It remerged from restructuring four months later with about 3,500 stores and eliminated more than $435 million in debt.
The company said in an email that the liquidation doesn’t affect its franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual. It lists 18,000 employees worldwide.
Kelly Tyko of USA Today reported that the closings continue a trend in retail:
Days before Payless confirmed stores would be shuttered, Coresight Research on Wednesday released an outlook of 2019 store closures that said there was “no light at the end of the tunnel.”
Prior to the Payless announcement, 2,187 store closings had been announced in the first six weeks of the year, according to the global market research firm’s report. This represented a 23 percent increase over the same time period last year.
The record year for closings was 2017, with 8,139 shuttered stores, Coresight reported. This included the 2017 Payless closings, the entire HHGregg electronics and appliance chain and hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores.
Michael Corkery of the New York Times reported that the retail will also wind down its online operation:
Payless is also winding down its online business.
The retailer, which filed for bankruptcy two years ago, had already closed hundreds of stores in recent years as its brand lost luster among women searching for deals on shoes. It is the latest mass-market retailer to vanish from the retail landscape.
The liquidation of Payless, based in Topeka, Kan., is another example of how bankruptcy has helped retailers shed their debt, but it has not helped many of them restructure their businesses and regain sales.
Toys “R” Us and Bon-Ton, a department store chain, liquidated last summer, after failing to come up viable reorganization plans. Sears narrowly escaped liquidation this month after a judge allowed its chairman and largest lender, the hedge fund manager Edward S. Lampert, to buy the company and keep its stores open.