All Payless ShoeSource Stores Shuttering Following Bankruptcy


If you’re looking to shop at a trusted retail store in New York instead of searching the internet for your next purchase, that may become harder now that there won’t be anymore Payless ShoeSource stores.

The Associated Press reports that the company known for its discount shoes will have to close all of the 2,100 stores that it still operates in the United States and Puerto Rico because of another bankruptcy filing. New York will lose about 20 stores that were spread out across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

The bankruptcy filing wasn’t the company’s first, coming not even two years after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the Associated Press. Before declaring bankruptcy, the chain had almost 4,500 stores with global reach, and it had to shed about 1,000 stores and offload hundreds of millions in debt as it went through bankruptcy.

These stores haven’t closed yet though, and for anyone who wants to score some super deals, the company announced that its stores will start to liquidate its products starting this Sunday, the Associated Press reports. Most stores will stay open until May but could close as early as April. The company doesn’t even have intentions to try restructuring and better utilizing the internet. It will eventually stop its online sales as well.

In an email that Payless sent to the Associated Press, it stressed that the work being done in Latin America would continue along with all franchise activities for the 18,000 employees it has beyond the United States and Puerto Rico.

Louis and Shaol Lee Porez created the company in 1956. The two cousins had a vision of providing shoes that didn’t break the bank for the everyday shopper.

The Jewish Voice has reported about major retail giants who haven’t been able to keep up with the times, like Sears and Toys R’ Us. Avison Young’s Joshua Ladle and his team noticed the trend down in Florida and speak about how it applies nationally. He’s seen a lot of big-box retailers leave stores empty due to either bankruptcy or major cutbacks, which is pretty much exactly what happened to Payless.

“We’re going to continue to see other big-box retailers come and go, but there will be replacements, or new uses filling those boxes,” Ladle predicted. “What happens more often than not — for those sites that are well-located — the next time I drive by those centers, six months later, there is a ‘Coming Soon’ sign for some other national big-box retailer”, he said in an interview with the Real Deal.

This theory remains to be seen as traditional brick and mortar business has struggled in the Amazon dominant retail landscape, although even Amazon has its limits on power as New Yorkers just proved. The online retail and web services juggernaut isn’t going away anytime soon, but after all of the fanfare around its announcement that it would bring part of its new HQ2 to Long Island City, the pushback from some constituents was so strong that the company flinched and retreated this past week.


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