Payless is discussing plans to shutter a significant portion, or even all, of its North American stores as the retailer plans for another bankruptcy, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg. A Payless representative declined to comment on the matter.
This would mark the second time Payless has entered bankruptcy proceedings in two years. The shoe retailer spent four months in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017, emerging in August. The restructuring process included the closure of 700 stores and elimination of more than $435 million in debt, and CEO Paul Jones retired after its completion. The chain currently operates approximately 3,600 outlets worldwide, with more than 2,700 in North America.
Payless is one of multiple retailers facing or emerging from bankruptcy in early 2019:
- Sears was saved from liquidation when a court approved Eddie Lampert’s $5.2 billion bid;
- Gymboree will close more than 800 stores in its bankruptcy proceedings, including all Gymboree and Crazy 8 locations;
- Things Remembered sold most of its business to Enesco, which will retain the online, direct mail and B2B retail businesses, as well as an undetermined number of stores;
- FULLBEAUTY Brands won court approval for its restructuring plan less than 24 hours after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy;
- Charlotte Russe has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to shutter 94 of its approximately 500 Charlotte Russe and Peek stores;
- Shopko will close 100 stores and auction off its pharmacy business as part of its reorganization plan; and
- David’s Bridal emerged from bankruptcy after shedding 300 stores and reducing its debt load by $450 million.