Payless ShoeSource to shutter all its US stores
FILE- This Aug. 23, 2006, file photo shows a Payless store front is seen in Philadelphia. Paylesss ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have been shuttered in the last year. The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
A Mahoning Township shoe is on the brink of closing after an announcement from the company this weekend.
According to reports, U.S. discount retailer Payless ShoeSource Inc plans to close all of its roughly 2,100 stores when it files for bankruptcy later this month for the second time in as many years.
That would mean the closure of the store at 1205 Blakeslee Blvd Dr. East, Lehighton, located at the Carbon Plaza Mall.
Contacted Friday afternoon, an employee at that store said the store manager was not available for comment.
The Topeka, Kansas-based chain told the Associated Press Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. All of the stores will remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.
The debt-burdened chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017, closing hundreds of stores as part of its reorganization.
At the time, it had over 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries. It remerged from restructuring four months later with about 3,500 stores and eliminated more than $435 million in debt.
The company said in an email that the liquidation doesn’t affect its franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual. It lists 18,000 employees worldwide.
The closures are a result of shoppers shifting their buying online or heading to discount stores like T.J. Maxx to grab deals on name-brand shoes. That shift has hurt traditional retailers, even low-price outlets like Payless. Heavy debt loads have also handcuffed retailers, leaving them less flexible to invest in their businesses.
Payless was founded in 1956 by two cousins, Louis and Shaol Lee Pozez, to offer self-service stores selling affordable footwear.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.