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Payless ShoeSource files for bankruptcy, to close 400 stores

RBR Staff Writer Published 05 April 2017

Footwear retailer Payless ShoeSource has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and announced that it will immediately close about 400 underperforming stores in the US and Puerto Rico.

The footwear chain stated that it intends to handle the remainder of its real estate lease portfolio by modifying terms or assessing further closures of stores.

It also plans to invest in certain areas which could give it sustainable growth such as product and inventory initiatives, omnichannel expansion.

Payless is also mulling over expanding internationally in Latin America and in other regions.

Payless CEO W. Paul Jones called the decision as difficult but necessary adding that it was influenced by persisting challenges faced in the retail environment which are only likely to grow further.

The footwear chain has launched a restructuring process which Jones said will help in build a stronger brand for its customers, associates, business partners, vendors and suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Jones added: “While we have had to make many tough choices, we appreciate the substantial support we have received from our lenders, who share our belief that we have a unique opportunity to enable Payless -- the iconic American footwear retailer with one of the best-recognized global brands -- to remain the go-to shoe store for customers in America and around the globe.”

Also part of the restructuring are Payless’ entities across North America along with its foreign logistics and supply chain entities in CBL and DAL respectively that are based in Hong Kong.

Headquartered in Topeka in Kansas, Payless operates about 4,400 stores in over 30 countries.

Image: Payless ShoeSource store in Briarwood Mall, Ann Arbor, Michigan, US. Photo: courtesy of Dwight Burdette/Wikipedia.org.