Payless Inc., yet another struggling discount shoe chain, was preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as next week, according to people familiar with the matter Bloomberg reported, and added that the company is initially planning to close 400 to 500 stores as it reorganizes operations. Payless had originally looked to shutter as many as 1,000 locations, and the number may still be in flux, according to one of the people.
The company, founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kansas, employs almost 22,000 people, according to its website. It has more than 4,000 stores in 30 countries.
Payless’s bankruptcy would add to a tumultuous year in retail, with several bankruptcies and hundreds of store closings — even at companies that aren’t distressed. The industry is racing to try to adapt to more online purchasing and a shift away from mall shopping.
With Sears also in trouble, the impact on malls and their closings will also accelerate.
Note from Tasi: Payless is one of our affiliate stores…see their ads in the sidebars. Payless is likely to increase their online offerings to include online ONLY, so shop here for a greater variety of sizes and styles.