Retailer Payless to file bankruptcy, close stores

Posted February 18, 2019

"We expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May", read a statement from the company.

The chain has 20 stores in New Jersey. The Topeka, Kansas-based retailer has been looking for loans to get through bankruptcy proceedings, the people with knowledge said last week.

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Payless ShoeSource made headlines in November 2018 whenit tricked social media influencers with a fake pop-up store called Palessi.

It's the second round of bankruptcy for Payless, who closed several hundred stores and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in 2017. It re-emerged from restructuring four months later with about 3,500 stores and eliminated more than $435 million in debt. A spokeperson said its worldwide franchises and Latin American stores will not be affected. Online shopping has led to a drop in foot-traffic at U.S. malls, which were a vital source of customers for stores like Payless. That shift has hurt traditional retailers, even low-price outlets such as Payless.

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In the past year, other two retail giants, Bon-Ton and Toys R Us, shut their doors after declaring bankruptcy. So far, no firm closing dates have been announced.

- Payless is no longer offering online sales.

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