If you regularly shop at a well-known discount shoe store, you will be unhappy to hear that the ailing brand is closing all of its brick and mortar stores (and winding down its e-commerce presence) in Canada.
In a recent news release, Payless announced that the company and its North American subsidiaries have voluntarily filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. The company also said certain Payless Canadian subsidiaries will be seeking creditor protection.
Payless says it intends to use these proceedings to begin a “wind-down” of its approximately 2,500 store locations in North America, as well as its e-commerce operations.
Payless store closings will begin at the end of March, but some stores will remain open through the end of May as it conducts liquidation sales in the U.S. and Canada.
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As for what prompted the situation, Payless says it’s had trouble competing in a changing retail environment.
“Over the years, we have had highs and lows amidst significant operational and market challenges. Despite our best efforts to address the rapidly changing retail environment, we – like many other retailers – have been forced to face very difficult choices,” the company said.
The company said it has made “the difficult decision” to close its stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.
The company’s international stores will remain operational.
“The challenges facing retailers today are well documented, and unfortunately Payless emerged from its prior reorganization ill-equipped to survive in today’s retail environment. The prior proceedings left the company with too much remaining debt, too large a store footprint and a yet-to-be realized systems and corporate overhead structure consolidation. As a consequence, despite our substantial efforts, we were ultimately unable to operate the North American retail and e-commerce operations on a sustainable basis,” Stephen Marotta, Chief Restructuring Officer of Payless, said
“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. 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 was founded in Topeka, Kansas in 1956.