Payless ShoeSource filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday and will shut down around 400 store locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The shoe spot of our youth isn’t in retail heaven yet, but it may be on its deathbed.
The Washington Post reports:
Further closures are possible as the company works “to aggressively manage the remaining real estate lease portfolio.”
Meanwhile, Payless said in a statement it will reduce its debt load by almost half and increase its presence in the e-commerce space.
“This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify,” Payless chief executive W. Paul Jones said in a statement. “We will build a stronger Payless for our customers, vendors and suppliers, associates, business partners and other stakeholders through this process.”
In other words, the retail business is tough right now. Relatively recent bankruptcy victims include Wet Seal, Delia’s, Aeropostale and American Apparel. Payless experienced a reported 4 percent drop in revenue in one year, and not even spokespeople like Tyra Banks and Star Jones saved them much:
During the first three months of 2017, nine major retailers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, CNBC reported, which “puts the industry on pace for the highest number of such filings since 2009, when 18 retailers resorted to that action.”
Moody’s, last month, listed 19 retailers as financially distressed, including Sears, J. Crew and Gymboree. Macy’s, J.C. Penney, RadioShack and The Limited are just a few of the companies that have announced closures this year.
Take the time now to celebrate Payless as your go-to for cheap buys like spring sandals and flats, kids’ shoes and one-night-only heels for special events. Never mind that some of their shoes would routinely crumble after a few wears. For my immigrant family, especially, Payless was the most affordable option growing up, no matter how embarrassing it felt to not be wearing name brands.