Payless ShoeSource closes all its US stores – 2,100 across the country and in Puerto Rico – and potentially filing for bankruptcy.
The company confirmed the news to CNN Business on Friday and announced the closures on Saturday. Liquidation sales began the following day and continue in May, a CNN spokesman said, but some stores will start closing in March.
There are several reasons for Payless's death. As the New York Times notes, the brick-and-mortar stores were at the heart of Payless's strategy, which may have hurt sales now, as an increasing number of customers prefer to shop online. (It is worth noting that in addition to shutting down their physical stores, Payless shuts down its online store.) Shelling shopping malls across the country also damages Payless ̵
It is unclear whether the discount merchant will declare bankruptcy in an attempt to reduce some of his debts, as did Toys R Us and Sears. (Playing R Us nonetheless ended liquidation, Sears, meanwhile, was rescued from liquidation by his former CEO, billion Eddie Lampert, whose mismanagement of the company was one of the main factors that led to it being close to insolvency.) Payless previously filed for bankruptcy in April 2017 and closed 400 stores in the process, but as CNN notes it was not enough to save the company from its serious financial situation.
Payless won't close all of its stores, though: A spokesperson told CNN Business that its international franchises and Latin American stores won't be affected. If you live in the United States, the next few months may be your last chance to take a pair of Payless shoes. Unless you feel like an international flight, it is.