TOPEKA, Kan. – Payless ShoeSource plans to close all 2,100 of its stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada by the end of May.
The company, which sells discounted footwear and accessories, filed for bankruptcy for the second time on Feb. 15. The company said it is winding down its e-commerce site.
“Stores across North America remain open at this time, and we are conducting liquidation sales that will continue until at least the end of March, with most continuing through the end of May,” said the company in a statement to customers.
Payless operates a store in the Omache Shopping Center, 606 Omache Drive, Omak.
In 2017, during the company’s first Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing, 673 stores were closed.
“Unfortunately, we emerged from the prior reorganization ill-equipped to survive in today’s retail environment, with too much remaining debt, too large a store footprint and a yet-to-be realized systems and corporate overhead structure consolidation,” the company said.
Although company officials worked with suppliers and other partners to position Payless for the future, “we have been unable to operate our North American businesses on a sustainable basis,” said the company.
The filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Similar proceedings are planned in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Canada.
“We have sought authorization from both courts to continue to honor customer gift cards and store credit until March 11, 2019, and to continue to allow returns and exchanges of applicable non-final sale purchases made prior to Feb. 17, 2019, until March 1, 2019,” said the company. “We have discontinued our rewards program and terminated all outstanding merchandise coupons in North America, effective immediately.”
Payless’ 420 stores across 20 countries in Latin America, its stores in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Saipan, and its 370 international franchisee stores in 16 countries across the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Indochina, The Philippines and Africa will continue operating, the company said in a Feb. 18 announcement.
“On behalf of the entire company, I’d like to express our deep appreciation for the hard work of our dedicated employees and their commitment to Payless customers, who have shown us tremendous loyalty for more than 60 years, said Stephen Marotta, who was appointed in January as chief restructuring officer. “We are also grateful for the many years of support by our suppliers and vendors, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to support our remaining operations.”
Payless ShoeSource is headquartered in Topeka, Kan., and was established in 1956 as Volume Shoe Corp. It became part of The May Department Stores in 1979, but then became an independent, publicly held company again in 1996.